craving for pregnancy they are as common as they are surrounded by false myths. What if unsatisfied cravings are marked with a patch on the baby’s skin, what if children inherit the cravings that their mothers had during pregnancy… All sorts of misconceptions about them. However, the real science of what triggers these cravings for a particular type of food is not well understood. Yes, there is some research, but many open questions remain. Questions that now have new answers thanks to a group of scientists from August Pi and Sunier Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBAPS) Barcelona, ​​whose work has just been published in Nature Metabolism.

His research focuses on two issues. On the one hand, they discover switch from craving for pregnancy in that brain. That is, they managed to find what areas of the brain undergo changes during pregnancy diet so noted. They did in micebut it is believed that it can be easily extrapolated to humans, since neural circuits are quite similar in these aspects.

On the other hand, they found what changes occur in the offspring mice whose pregnancy cravings were satisfied. All of this is important because sometimes these addictions mean poor nutrition for pregnant women, which can have long-term consequences for their children. If it is found in which part of the brain these desires originate, one can try to turn them off in order to avoid these consequences. We still have a long way to go to extrapolate it to humans, but its results encourage us to do so.

Origins of Pregnancy Addiction

The authors of this study measured brain activity female mice experiencing cravings during pregnancy.

Thus, they noticed that numerous changes had taken place in his brain, many of which were related to mesolimbic pathway. This means that some kind of restructuring has taken place in the reward system.

Pregnancy Cravings Linked to Reward Systems Also Linked to Addiction

These systems are responsible for certain habits that generate pleasure. From sex before chocolatego through all kinds drugs. In principle, this system of the brain has brought us evolutionary advantages as a species. In fact, if we enjoy sex, we will have more of it, which is necessary, because without sex, the species would become extinct. Eating steak is a great pleasure, because it has a high calorie content. It means a lot Energy which our ancestors could very well use to escape predators or perform their daily tasks.

The problem is that these systems are also affected by substances that do not bring us any benefit, such as, for example, cocaine. In other cases, substances or habits that were originally harmless no longer work, so more and more is required to achieve this long-awaited pleasure. This is how addictions are born. What does all this have to do with pregnancy cravings?

In fact, it seems that certain incentives are very closely related to reward systems. Like it’s a temporary addiction that only lasts 9 months pregnant.

These scientists saw it because higher levels dopamine and there was increased activity in nucleus accumbens D2R receptor. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is associated with this intense pleasure situation. These effects are caused by its action on the nucleus accumbens, which is considered the control center of reward systems.

Effect on offspring

The second part of the study was to analyze how this affects offspring satisfaction of craving for pregnancy.

For this reason, they took mice that were given a normal diet during pregnancy, and others, I know they agreed your wishes. As soon as they had offspring, they were followed up, and it was found that in children from the second group changes both at the metabolic level and in its neural circuits.

Metabolic and neural changes occurred in the offspring of mice whose cravings were satisfied.

They believe that in humans, this may make the children of these pregnant women more likely to develop. eating disorders, obesity or anxiety, among other problems. But not just because their mothers constantly wanted to eat the same thing, but because in general cravings do not arise from eating salad. They usually very fatty or very sweet food. Mainly because reward systems, again, will encourage high energy inputs, but with some gaps in how they work.

For this reason, these scientists aim to take care of the diet of pregnant women so that pregnancy cravings do not become a problem. In the long run we could find a way turn off that brain switch they found to not pull directly. But as long as it’s possible, it’s enough satisfy them only from time to time, but without those foods that they so want, displacing other, healthier ones from their diet. From here we can and promise that the baby will not have a birthmark in the shape of a chocolate croissant.

Source: Hiper Textual

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