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Sugar Water: The Favorite Among Mice Even When They Have No Sense of Taste

Posted Oct 02 2008 3:12pm

Sugar water is quite popular among rodents -- even when they don't have a sense of taste.

Randy Dotinga of HealthDay News reports about a new study, which shows that mice with no sense of taste still preferred sugar water over ordinary water.

This finding suggests, Dotinga tells us, that "the mice had a way of sensing that the sugar water had calories -- energy for their bodies -- and the other water didn't."

Hmm. So might this explain why some low-calorie foods just don't go over big with people but that we're just biologically geared to gravitate to those high-calorie foods?

The research team was headed up by Anthony Sclafani, Ph.D., a researcher at the Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Dr. Sclafani told HealthDay News that the findings are important, because they're the "first to show that nutrients in the gut can directly activate the brain reward system."

Apparently the next step is to figure out which signals tell "the brain's reward system that something has changed metabolically," he told HealthDay News. "When we ingest calories, we are changing our metabolism."

Thanks to Disease Proof, the blog from Dr. Joel Fuhrman for the lead on this intriguing item.

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