Do You Have the Candy Corn Gene?

Posted on October 22, 2013 in General oral health

Does Halloween candy call your name? If you're powerless against the sweet stuff, it may not be your fault. Scientists at York University recently discovered a gene that affects how much a person desires sweet or fatty foods.

It has to do with the pleasure receptors in the body. The hedonic system – the part of the body that recognizes appetite and reward – contains a gene called OPRM1. Variations of this gene show different dominant functionalities, but when the gene has two dominant traits (G/G), as opposed to one dominant and one recessive (G/g) or two recessive (g/g), it reveals that the person will have a higher preference for sweet and fatty foods. This comes from the reaction of the two dominant traits with the body, making a person feel joy, thus causing them to want more of that specific food.1

In the healthy women and men studied during these tests, levels of preference for these foods varied and were also linked to overeating in general.

If you have trouble controlling yourself around sweets, then try to only have candy as an occasional snack – and between plenty of healthy foods that can help satisfy your hunger and make you feel rewarded at the same time.