A new study by UCLA researchers found some Asian Americans may be genetically predisposed to food addictions.
They studied 84 Asian American college students and found that a variation of a gene made these students crave for carbohydrates and unhealthy foods more than other Asian Americans.
These students had a gene called DRD2 A1 that is associated with a lower density of dopamine receptors in the brain. Researchers suspect some people overeat to compensate.
“We found that Asian Americans who have the DRD2 A1 variant are more likely to crave carbohydrates and fast food than those without it,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Zhaoping Li, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and chief of the UCLA Division of Clinical Nutrition. “This is important for doctors and their patients — it could help them target the addictive behavior in individuals with this genetic variation and devise a personalized approach to promote healthier eating and weight maintenance patterns.”
Further study is needed to determine if dopamine-like drugs could reduce the food cravings.
The study was published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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