3

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STUDY: Endocannabinoids - Fatty foods lead to gluttony

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 05, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Hmmmm...this looks fishy to me. Fatty foods leading to wanton gluttony? Not in my n=1 experience! For me, fat always leads to quick satiety and cessation of the consumption of mass quantities. I don't have access to the full study, but I suspect something awry to push the agenda of conventional wisdom. Thoughts?

ARTICLE

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704151438.htm

EXCERPT (emphasis mine)

Piomelli said that from an evolutionary standpoint, there's a compelling need for animals to consume fats, which are scarce in nature but crucial for proper cell functioning. In contemporary human society, however, fats are readily available, and the innate drive to eat fatty foods leads to obesity, diabetes and cancer.

STUDY ABSTRACT

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/27/1104675108.abstract?sid=f5563fb3-1476-49ea-a3ed-9ca08728e025

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:12 AM

I thought that the kind of fat that stimulates the endocannabanoid receptors in the brain was linoleic acid (omega-6). Which is why canola/corn/soybean oils are so much more addictive. Ah, the study used corn oil. That makes sense - they use corn oil and extend it to mean "all fat".

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Great analysis, Eric! I was beginning to think the same way as you and Albert, that fat ingestion was part of our preference and reward mechanisms. But I have some issues with the study as a non-scientist, mainly with the points you've indicated: Differentiation of fat type (only corn oil was used), sham-feeding vs. true oral consumption.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:21 PM

Corn chips lead to gluttony. I know that for a fact.

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7 Answers

5
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on July 05, 2011
at 07:52 PM

It's corn oil Let me see if I can get the full text from my university.

ETA: Got it. Email me if you need the full text PDF.

cillakat @ gmail . com

4
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I don't think that there is anything fishy going on in the article; in fact, its findings fit pretty nicely with standard paleo views of fat. For starters, we know that fat, like carbohydrate and glutamate, produces food reward. That's why we love and crave our favorite fatty foods. These researchers are trying to locate the precise mechanisms that underly the process of coupling fat intake and food reward signalling, and it looks like they've done a fine job of locating one, using a pretty clever research design.

That said, as paleos we'd probably like to know if the gut responds differentially to different types of fat. Further, the study is done on rats, so its results might not generalize to humans. And the sham-feeding protocol sets up an artificial situation where the intake of fat is simulated, but not the ingestion of fat, which we can assume has its own unique affects on reward pathways. Finally, their research, like most, is geared toward producing an obesity drug that can affect these pathways. Obviously we paleos object to this because we know that dietary interventions are more effective, cheaper, and have no side effects. But there is no money to be made in studying dietary interventions, and hence fewer resources for researchers.

I must admit, though, that it would be pretty cool if obese non-paleos could take drugs that manipulate their food reward pathways and make them feel satiated more easily. We don't have to support the research in general and its motivation in order to recognize that :)

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Great analysis, Eric! I was beginning to think the same way as you and Albert, that fat ingestion was part of our preference and reward mechanisms. But I have some issues with the study as a non-scientist, mainly with the points you've indicated: Differentiation of fat type (only corn oil was used), sham-feeding vs. true oral consumption.

4
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 05, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Reading it, I felt like the writer had good intentions, but the article is written unintentionally in a way that's open to misinterpretation. Or possibly the language is rooted in some misconceptions that the writer has about the SAD. For instance, I came away feeling that the study may indicate that endocannabinoid receptors may be an evolutionary adaptation that helped early humans be more sensitive to fat-containing foods; as it was more scarce, perhaps it was good for humans to gorge on it when they had the opportunity. In today's world, the receptors may be sending similar signals -- but because we live in an environment where there are no natural limitations on fat availability, over-consumption becomes a problem, because there's always more than enough at our fingertips, and we need to "manually" override the receptors.

But I didn't like this:

Blockquote The findings suggest it might be possible to curb this tendency by obstructing endocannabinoid activity -- for example, by using drugs that "clog" cannabinoid receptors.

Suddenly, we're again jumping to design a pharmaceutical solution to a cultural issue -- in essence, blaming the cannabinoid receptors for doing what evolution intended them to! Why not just exercise more sanity and self-discipline, with regard to fat consumption? Why not educate parents and children about good fats vs bad fats, and the difference between consuming to support health vs weight gain?

1
D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 06, 2011
at 12:21 AM

Alcoholism as a disease depends upon a similarly-evolved metabolic pathway. Paleolithic man could not brew alcohol, but craved it in rotting fruit. Modern man brews alcohol so can over-consume & becomes addicted if possessing genes that metabolize alcohol into a cousin of formaldehyde. Gorillas also have similar "alcoholic" metabolic pathways in their populations, and it is the "alcoholics" among them that initiate over-ripe fruit-finding missions, but they cannot physically consume enough over-ripe fruit to be unhealthful alcoholics.

0
420ab6c646066ba241f3cbed97fdaa73

on July 13, 2011
at 01:58 PM

The article seems to ignore the role of oleylethanolamide (OEA), which has exactly the opposite effect of endocannabinoids. It appears fat intake can stimulate the production of OEA or endocannabinoids. OEA causes lypolysis (burning of fat into ketone bodies and fatty acids).

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2011
at 10:13 PM

i read a article. it was on ketogenic diet and epeleptic disease. And this helps much more than medication. And now it gets popular swap over from the Us to germany. Parents are afraid cause people eat so much fat. It helps that people stop having epileptic attacks. Whatever they looked at us people who are on ketogenic diet than small age caused by epeleptic disease and found they arent obese.

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on July 05, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I couldn't get to the main article to see what the define as "fats". Usually in these studies, the fats are high N-6 seed oils, not actual saturated fat. I don't know if that's going on here, but if anyone posts a link to the actual article, that'd be helpful.

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