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Eat Behav. 2015 Dec;19:53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.06.008. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Putting the brakes on the "drive to eat": Pilot effects of naltrexone and reward-based eating on food cravings among obese women.

Author information

1
University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, United States. Electronic address: Ashley.Mason@UCSF.edu.
2
University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, United States.
3
University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, United States.
4
University of California, San Francisco, Department of Pediatrics, United States.
5
University of California, San Francisco, Center for Health and Community, United States.
6
Stanford University, School of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, United States.
7
University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, United States.
8
University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, United States; University of California, San Francisco, Center for Health and Community, United States.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Obese individuals vary in their experience of food cravings and tendency to engage in reward-driven eating, both of which can be modulated by the neural reward system rather than physiological hunger. We examined two predictions in a sample of obese women: (1) whether opioidergic blockade reduced food-craving intensity, and (2) whether opioidergic blockade reduced an association between food-craving intensity and reward-driven eating, which is a trait-like index of three factors (lack of control over eating, lack of satiation, preoccupation with food).

METHODS:

Forty-four obese, pre-menopausal women completed the Reward-Based Eating Drive (RED) scale at study start and daily food-craving intensity on 5 days on which they ingested either a pill-placebo (2 days), a 25 mg naltrexone dose (1 day), or a standard 50mg naltrexone dose (2 days).

RESULTS:

Craving intensity was similar under naltrexone and placebo doses. The association between food-craving intensity and reward-driven eating significantly differed between placebo and 50mg naltrexone doses. Reward-driven eating and craving intensity were significantly positively associated under both placebo doses. As predicted, opioidergic blockade (for both doses 25mg and 50mg naltrexone) reduced the positive association between reward-driven eating and craving intensity to non-significance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Opioidergic blockade did not reduce craving intensity; however, blockade reduced an association between trait-like reward-driven eating and daily food-craving intensity, and may help identify an important endophenotype within obesity.

KEYWORDS:

Craving intensity; Naltrexone; Obesity; Opioidergic blockade; Reward-Based Eating Drive

PMID:
26164674
PMCID:
PMC4644449
DOI:
10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.06.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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