Central opioids and consumption of sweet tastants: When reward outweighs homeostasis

Pawel K. Olszewski, Allen S Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerous reports have described opioids as peptides involved in the regulation of food intake. The role of these endogenous substances appears to be linked with reward-dependent feeding, since injection of opioid receptor ligands alters consumption of palatable foods and solutions more readily than of non-palatable ones, and intake of such tastants affects the activity of the opioid system within the brain. Among a variety of available foods, those rich in sucrose and other sweet tastants, are extremely appealing to humans and laboratory animals. In the current review, we focus on the rewarding aspects of consummator behavior driven by opioids. We attempt to delineate opioid-dependent central mechanisms responsible for overconsumption of "rewarding" palatable diets, especially foods high in sugar that can potentially jeopardize homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Food intake
  • Opioids
  • Reward

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