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Go for a run or eat chocolate: A choice determined by the cannabinoid receptors

Source: INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)

A study reveals that the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors play an essential role in the choice between running and eating chocolatey food.

  • Physical inactivity is a common factor in lifestyle diseases, and one that is often linked to the excessive consumption of fatty and/or sugary foods.

  • The opposite scenario of excessive physical activity at the expense of caloric intake can also be harmful, as cases of anorexia nervosa illustrate.

  • These data therefore point to the crucial need to research the neuro-biological processes that control the respective motivations for exercise and food intake.

In our daily life, we are faced with an ongoing choice between various rewards
  • A fact which has encouraged the researchers to develop a model in which following a learning period the mice had the choice, in return for the efforts described above, between exercise and chocolatey food.

  • The motivation for exercise was greater than that for chocolatey food, with the exception of the mice lacking CB1, whether generally or just on GABAergic neurons, whose preference was for the food.


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