Skip to comments.Beer's taste triggers dopamine release in brain
Posted on 04/20/2013 5:34:09 PM PDT by Jyotishi
The taste of beer, without any effect from alcohol itself, can trigger dopamine release in the brain that is associated with drinking and other drugs of abuse, researchers have claimed.
Using positron emission tomography (PET), the researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine tested 49 men with two scans, one in which they tasted beer, and the second in which they tasted Gatorade.
The researchers were looking for evidence of increased levels of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that has long been associated with alcohol and other drugs of abuse.
The scans showed significantly more dopamine activity following the taste of beer than the sports drink, moreover, the effect was significantly greater among participants with a family history of alcoholism.
We believe this is the first experiment in humans to show that the taste of an alcoholic drink alone, without any intoxicating effect from the alcohol, can elicit this dopamine activity in the brains reward centers, David A. Kareken, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the IU School of Medicine and the deputy director of the Indiana Alcohol Research Center, said.
Kareken said that the stronger effect in participants with close alcoholic relatives suggests that the dopamine release in response to such alcohol-related cues may be an inherited risk factor for alcoholism.
The participants got a very small amount of their preferred beer - 15 milliliters - over a 15-minute time period, enabling them to taste the beer without having any detectable blood alcohol level or intoxicating effect.
Using a PET scanning compound that targets dopamine receptors in the brain, the scientists were able to assess changes in dopamine levels occurring after the participants tasted the liquids.
Results have been published online Monday by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Thanks for reminding me, is is now 3:04, so time for a beer............
Made me into a dope, that’s for sure.
Oh pul-ease. Simple Pavlovian response to the taste by seasoned beer drinkers.
Try the same test with someone who has never tasted beer, and you won’t get the same brain response.
A Guiness a day keeps the doctor away, ten Guiness a day keep everybody away.
And all these years I thought I was drinking beer for it’s nutritional value.
Actually, I have conducted personal experiments and must say that some of the German non-alcoholic beers elicit a very strong dopamine response from my brain, and I don’t anticipate any alcohol effect.
OTOH, I don’t always drink beer but when I do, I prefer Guinness.
Read Guinness, sorry, long day, no beer.
Stay thirsty, my friend.
After all, who hasn’t smelled beer and wished for heroine, or glue, or maybe some paint to sniff. Really!
I picked a hell of a week to stop smoking.
Try as I may, beer can't make my liberal friends intelligent, or understand basic common sense.
I have to admit when I was stationed in Munich back in the 60’s I would find myself lying in the street outside of the Hofbrauhaus. I still don’t know whether I was on my way out or merely overcome on my way in.
> After all, who hasnt smelled beer and wished for heroine, or glue, or maybe some paint to sniff. Really!
Wouldn’t it be cheaper and of course legal to just shoot beer into the veins? Besides, heroin gets no respect in emergency rooms around the world.
> I have to admit when I was stationed in Munich back in the 60s I would find myself lying in
> the street outside of the Hofbrauhaus. I still dont know whether I was on my way out or merely overcome on my way in.
Great inspiration for a song there, country western.
Wait ... there’s two cases of Heiniken in the fridge on the deck. Oh, and a huge can o Mauna Loa macadamias... who needs Corona and lime when you have Heini’s and macs?
Jeez! It takes research to figure that one out?!
Correct. Classical conditioning (not operant). Would have been a huge surprise if this DIDN’T happen in conditioned drinkers. No reason whatsoever to do this study unless subjects who had never drank alcohol were included.
Beer always did release the dope-in-me.