The John B. Pierce Laboratory

Why is it so hard to switch to a healthy, low-calorie diet?

Research from the laboratory of Dr. Ivan de Araujo, Associate Fellow, makes significant progress toward answering this crucial question in the battle against obesity.

A major limitation of behavioral interventions for weight loss is the low appeal of low-calorie diets. Dr. de Araujo and his colleagues recently published evidence that a high fat diet can cause a deficiency in a gastrointestinal lipid messenger that is critical for producing normal dopamine release in the brain in response to food. The researchers went on to find that restoring this lipid messenger in deficient mice restored dopamine release and increased the interest of obese mice in a low-calorie liquid. Read more about this breakthrough study in their recent report published in Science and follow the links below to online reviews of the work.