FBPixel More Than a Craving? - David Perlmutter M.D.

More Than a Craving?

I see a lot of activity in the comments section of this website from individuals struggling to manage their sugar/gluten/grain cravings during the first few days (and sometimes weeks) of a transition to a gluten- and grain-free lifestyle. While a part of it is mental (we all know how deceptively good some sweets taste), the real cause of that yearn may be physiological in nature.

Late last year, researchers at Connecticut College discovered, using rats, that Oreos stimulate the brain in a way to similar to most drugs. This isn’t the only study to look at this similarity, but it certainly is the latest. Just like Oreos, there are chemicals in gluten and wheat that stimulate the same parts of the brain that are responsive to morphine. Interesting to note: my colleague, Dr. William Davis, points out in his book, Wheat Belly, that when given a drug to block those receptors, individuals who go off bread do not go through any sort of withdrawal. Interesting to consider for sure.

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