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The Brain's Memories of Fat

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Jun 19, 2009

According to a recent study by the University of California, Irvine, the human brain forms long-term memories of eating fatty foods, demonstrating a link between dietary fats and appetite control.

Earlier studies found that oleic acids from fats are turned into a compound called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) in the upper small intestines, and send hunger-curbing messages to the brain to help increase feelings of fullnes. The new study discovered that OEA also turns superficial, short-term memories into meaningful, long-term memories by activating memory signals in the amygdala, which is responsible for storing emotional events.

"OEA is part of the molecular glue that makes memories stick," neuroscientist Daniele Piomelli, a co-author of the study, said in a university news release. "By helping mammals remember where and when they have eaten a fatty meal, OEA's memory-enhancing activity seems to have been an important evolutionary tool for early humans and other mammals." —MedicineNet

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