You pry apart the two biscuits to reveal the deliciously creamy filling. And then you LICK IT. Your tongue curls across the biscuit, either slurping up the creamy inside of the biscuit or picking it off with your teeth. When every last morsel has been cleared, you tackle the outside of the biscuit. Crunching and swallowing.
And then you reach for another one.
You really LOVE these biscuits. LOVE THEM. L-O-V-E them. You jokingly say, you’re addicted.
Hold that thought………
Biscuit addiction ?
Addicted, it may not be a whimsical way of explaining your love affair with a chocolate biscuit. You really might be ADDICTED.
Rats seem to get ADDICTED to oreo biscuits.
Really addicted i.e. they show the same behaviour and brain gene expression patterns, when they’re exposed to oreos, as they do when they’re exposed to morphine and cocaine.
This is the finding of a group of researchers from Connecticut College.
In search of the cookie monster
In their experiment, regular lab rats were given the option to hang out in a maze, but different spots in the maze, held different bootee.
The one side of the maze was where the “Oreo factory” was situated. Hungry rats were able to pick up Oreo biscuits on this side of the maze. And they were delighted when they rounded the corner and found a biscuit.
And just like humans devouring an Oreo biscuit – they started in the middle and worked their way out.
The other side of the maze was where the “Rice Cake factory” was situated. Hungry rats were able to pick up rice cakes on this side of the maze. Now, food is food, but just like humans, rats don’t describe rice cakes as delightful. Rice cakes are simply food, nothing more, nothing less.
Rats strung out on Oreos
The rats in this study were free to roam the maze. The researchers kept tabs on just where they visited. Bet you can guess where they chose to hang out.
Yup, on the side of the maze where the oreos appeared.
So what ?
Oreos taste good – rice cakes, not so good. This doesn’t mean the rats are actually addicted. Just tells you, the rats have a good sense of direction and they know what they like.
Looking inside the rats head
The next step, was to go inside the heads of oreo seeking rats, to squizz at the chemistry going on inside their heads. The area of the brain, known as the nuclear accumbens i.e. the brain’s reward centre, was excised (cut out) – this is why the experiment was done on rats, not humans.
The researchers looked at the expression of a gene called c-Fos, using immunochemistry. This technique causes brain slices to light up like a Christmas tree, when the c-fos has been activated and c-fos activation, is a sign that there is lots of neuronal activity happening.
Brain’s lit up like Christmas trees
The oreo seeking rats nuclear accumbens was lit up by oreos.
In fact, they were twinkling more than the brains of rats receiving REALLY ADDICTIVE substances, such as cocaine and morphine.
The researchers had run a parallel study, in which other rats had been given an opportunity to hang out in the maze, but instead of visiting biscuit factories, they had been given shots of cocaine and morphine. Oh… happy days !
So officially…. oreos ARE ADDICTIVE. REALLY !
It is not ALL your fault
These addictive powers explain A LOT.
- You know they’re not good for you, but you still eat them.
- You know you should stop at one, but you can’t.
Your inability to JUST SAY NO is not a reflection of your weak will power, you’re battling a formidable enemy.
That biscuit is messing with your head chemistry, just like a drug of addiction !
Biscuits and cookies are EVERYWHERE
And this is the problem.
Overcoming ADDICTION is not a trivial matter. You need lots of weapons…..
Watch the video to learn more about the 10 weapons you can use to TAME YOUR SUGAR GREMLIN.
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