2

votes

Do adulterers, gamblers, speeders and chronic liars have fatter bellies, all else being equal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM

We know chronically high levels of cortisol lead to storage of abdominal fat. If you led a perpetually risky life where you had to maintain a high level of vigilance and were in constant fear of being caught would you be more likely to have a fat belly than your law-abiding virtuous twin who ate the exact same diet that you did?

I have always taken chances I don't really need to just for the thrill (nothing terrible, don't worry) and sometimes have a hard time talking myself down, even when there is nothing to be gained beyond proving to myself that I can do it. Something in my system likes risk for it's own sake and always has. Maybe it is as simple as a chemical addiction to whatever cascade happens when your heart quickens. Is there any evolutionary advantage for this? Or does the cautious, careful person always win in the end. In any case, I have no desire to get a fat belly, so I am now trying to consciously notice when I get amped up this way, and just pause and take a few deep breaths.

By the way, the type of risk that appeals to me is never random, like Russian roulette, but always something that appears to rely on my quick reflexes or nimble mind. Over time this just gets reinforced with continued positive results, so it is very hard to break the mindset. Being vain, I began worrying that this might have very undesirable physical effects like the cortisol-fat-storage one, which would hopefully be enough for me to change my ways...

By the way, I am intentionally being vague because I don't know that this is truly anonymous...someone who knew me and happened upon this site would surely recognize me from my posts.

Any thoughts?

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on October 24, 2012
at 04:05 PM

@Jamie, I've noticed over the years that people usually tend to exhibit a preference in neurotransmitters. Dopamine preferential folks usually have a hard time quitting smoking, and enjoy dopamine centric drugs like cocaine. Some people have no draw to such substances, but can't get enough of drugs that act on serotonin. Some people benefit greatly from choline supplementation, some don't form bonds normally (oxytocin), etc. I imagine it's all based on our biochemical baseline, which is probably determined both genetically and by what we're exposed to during in utero development.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on October 24, 2012
at 08:28 AM

Hey why the down vote? Sociopaths feel no guilt so no cortisol!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:41 AM

Jamie - people who discover countries and climb mountains are dopamine seekers. People who lead and wage wars - testosterone driven.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:13 AM

Theres a test you can take it, as a psychological profile. Its called "novelty seeking" I beleive.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:12 AM

IDK about dopamine wired or not (possibly as a simplification), but there are genetic risk takers. They discover countries, climb mountains, wage wars, lead etc (ie thats their genetic function, to do things others are afraid of).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 24, 2012
at 05:50 AM

Oh, they are not mine. I listened to Helen Fisher and Robert Sapolsky.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on October 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I'd bet an "adultery gene" has something to do with the action or production of oxytocin. I fully agree with your statements on dopamine.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on October 24, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Never got in my way. Drunk men are easy

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 23, 2012
at 11:13 PM

good answer...!

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

I guess I am thinking of someone who is not a socio or psychopath...who cares about getting caught/failing/losing. I can see that for some, they wouldn't care, so there would be no stress-response. They probably wouldn't feel the thrill either...stress is the rush.

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4 Answers

5
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 23, 2012
at 10:40 PM

Pre paleo, I always found having a big belly a bit of an obstacle to the whole adultery thing.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on October 24, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Never got in my way. Drunk men are easy

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 23, 2012
at 11:13 PM

good answer...!

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 23, 2012
at 09:13 PM

I can tell you one thing I know - many gamblers have dopamine-wired brain. People with dopamine-wired brains tend to (not necessarily) be more sexually permissive (and are more prone to commit adultery). They also exhibit more risky behaviors like speeding.

People with dopamine as their predominant hormone tend to move a lot and they use their bodies quite well. Most people that I know who have dopamine-wired brains are quite slim. Not all, but many.

Also, some people are carriers of a so-called "adultery gene". They are more prone to commit adultery. I have no idea whether they have fatter bellies or not.

As for lying - everybody lies. We all lie at one point or another. People who are pathological liars and have no emotional remorse about lying are sociopaths or psychopaths. Not sure about their body composition.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:41 AM

Jamie - people who discover countries and climb mountains are dopamine seekers. People who lead and wage wars - testosterone driven.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on October 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I'd bet an "adultery gene" has something to do with the action or production of oxytocin. I fully agree with your statements on dopamine.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 24, 2012
at 05:50 AM

Oh, they are not mine. I listened to Helen Fisher and Robert Sapolsky.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:12 AM

IDK about dopamine wired or not (possibly as a simplification), but there are genetic risk takers. They discover countries, climb mountains, wage wars, lead etc (ie thats their genetic function, to do things others are afraid of).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:13 AM

Theres a test you can take it, as a psychological profile. Its called "novelty seeking" I beleive.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on October 24, 2012
at 04:05 PM

@Jamie, I've noticed over the years that people usually tend to exhibit a preference in neurotransmitters. Dopamine preferential folks usually have a hard time quitting smoking, and enjoy dopamine centric drugs like cocaine. Some people have no draw to such substances, but can't get enough of drugs that act on serotonin. Some people benefit greatly from choline supplementation, some don't form bonds normally (oxytocin), etc. I imagine it's all based on our biochemical baseline, which is probably determined both genetically and by what we're exposed to during in utero development.

0
474ae29b80569199c6589e879e6cd7d1

on October 23, 2012
at 09:07 PM

A strange, though compelling, question. I'd guess that in many cases those individuals undertaking said risky behaviors would not have normal emotional responses. (A defining trait for psychopaths is their lack of a fear response.) Absent fear/anxiety, there would be no stress and no impact upon cortisol levels.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 23, 2012
at 09:26 PM

I guess I am thinking of someone who is not a socio or psychopath...who cares about getting caught/failing/losing. I can see that for some, they wouldn't care, so there would be no stress-response. They probably wouldn't feel the thrill either...stress is the rush.

-1
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on October 24, 2012
at 03:15 AM

Not if you're a sociopath..

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on October 24, 2012
at 08:28 AM

Hey why the down vote? Sociopaths feel no guilt so no cortisol!

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