Author(s): Blum K, Chen TJ, Meshkin B, Downs BW, Gordon CA,
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Abstract Obesity is the second largest cause of preventable death in the United States. Historically, obesity was considered a behavioral problem that could be simply addressed with behavioral modifications in diet and exercise. As scientific advancements have demonstrated in other neurological healthcare conditions such as alcoholism, there are important biological and genetic components that limit the efficacy of behavioral adjustments alone. In light of data suggesting frequent co-morbidities to obesity, including diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and potentially others, we hypothesize that the biologic and genetic factors, synergistically with behavioral modifications, must be addressed to adequately treat this disease. We hypothesize that one such genetic factor that influences behavior and thus obesity is a predisposition to glucose craving and the overall effect of dopaminergic activity in the reward center of the brain. This defect drives individuals to engage in activities of behavioral excess, which will increase brain dopamine function, for which we have created the term reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) to categorize such biological influences on behavior. Consuming large quantities of alcohol or carbohydrates (carbohydrate bingeing) stimulates the brain's production of and utilization of dopamine. So too does the intake of crack/cocaine and the abuse of nicotine. We are proposing that a novel approach to nutritional supplementation may be required to target the RDS role in obesity. In this regard, Genotrim, a DNA based customized nutraceutical has been designed and is currently under investigation in several clinical studies. This is the first hypothesis paper whereby this new paradigm shift in thinking about obesity is presented.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy