Hunger Hormone Affects Desire for Alcohol

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A study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows that ghrelin, a hunger hormone typically released by the stomach, plays a role in alcohol consumption.

The Study

The study authors examined the role of ghrelin, a hormone released from the stomach into the bloodstream that is known to promote appetite and food intake. They discovered that mice injected with ghrelin were more likely to choose alcohol over water, while mice that were treated with ghrelin antagonists or did not have ghrelin receptors had reduced alcohol consumption.

What Does This Mean?

According to Kent Berridge, a professor at the University of Michigan, "These results seem to suggest a role for the effects of ghrelin on the brain in the motivation for alcohol consumption." If the hormone ghrelin does indeed play a role in the desire to consume alcohol, targeting of the hormone may be a promising new avenue of treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related disorders.

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