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Relation of Food Chemicals with Brain


Ms. Priyanka Gupta
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
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Excessive intake of appetizing foodstuffs, which is related with the activating of the brain ‘s reward mechanism in both human beings and animals, is the feature of the behavioural obsession known as “food addiction.” It has also been described as a physically and/or psychologically severe clinical reliance on meals that are rich in sugar, cholesterol, and/or salt. The assumption that some foodstuffs (or their additives) may have addictive potentials is the basis for the conception of food addiction. Food ingredients are thought to have the innate propensity to develop dependency. The various impacts of a high-fat, high-sugar, or high-protein diet on eating behaviour and central nervous system receptor biochemistry have been reported in both human and animal research.

Flavour enhancers are gradually widely utilized to making food healthy, stable, nutrient-dense, colourful, delicious, and economical as their number of utilization grows in recent years. As a result, several kinds of meal preservatives have been invented (and are constantly being created) to fulfill the increasing needs of the foodservice sector. The World Health Organization and the Agriculture and Food Organization have divided dietary supplements into three major groups (flavour additives, proteins, and others) depending on their purpose. Additives can be artificial or obtained from vegetation or animals. The majority of dietary preservatives are flavour enhancers, which include salt and monosodium glutamate. Food bloggers as well as a number of other researchers have clarified the potential disadvantages of the use of food ingredients, asserting that their presence may indeed give rise to excessive eating  which would eventually predispose people to overweight or unhealthy eating. Additives have the capacity to induce neurotransmitters and increase DA production, particularly in regions of the brain that attenuate the reward system.

Addiction develops and is maintained in effect of glutamate. MSG intake has been related to an enhancement in neural activity, either directly or indirectly.   Food sweeteners can improve the taste and intake of nutrient-rich meals and drinks, so contributing in the management of a good nutrition. According to researches exploring the concept of “sugar cravings,” intake of high-sugar meals or sugar triggers the central nervous system in a way that is equivalent to that of addictive medicines. However, other academics and food technologists dis-agree this assertion.

Sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and saccharin, which are non-nutritive natural sugars, stimulate the eating satisfaction system through different brain connections than do artificial sweeteners and other natural sweeteners. Non Nutritive Sugar do not have the same impact on digestion, acquired tastes, hunger, or the reward system of the central nervous system as sweets do.


  1. Onaolapo, A. Y., & Onaolapo, O. J. (2018). Food additives, food and the concept of “food addiction”: Is stimulation of the brain reward circuit by food sufficient to trigger addiction? Pathophysiology. doi:10.1016/j.pathophys.2018.04.002
  2. Alonso-Alonso M, Woods SC, Pelchat M, Grigson PS, Stice E, Farooqi S, et al (2015) Food reward system: current perspectives and future research needs. Nutr Rev. 73: 296– 307. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv002










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