Food addiction, according to Dr Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute for Drug Abuse, shares the same brain dopamine reward pathways as addictions to drugs and alcohol. It explains much of the compulsive overeating that results in obesity. The two treatments most likely to combat the excess weight of obesity are bariatric surgery and Lipotrim.
Bariatric surgery has been linked to many reports of addiction transfer – where after treatment the addiction to food transfers to
other substances or habits, such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. A recent study in the Archives of Surgery found a 50 percent rise in the frequency of substance abuse two years after the procedure.
Alcohol misuse, smoking cessation and weight management are high on the public health agenda and are areas that pharmacy is long familiar with. In fact, the addiction transfer from cigarettes to food is familiar and one that pharmacists counsel on when running a quit smoking service. Food addiction is therefore a subject that pharmacists should be advising on when offering a weight management service.
Drugs and food addictions activate the common dopamine reward pathway in the brain. The best treatment for addictions is complete abstinence from the addictive substance. With food this is not usually possible which is what makes dieting hard. Total Food Replacement diets, such as Lipotrim overcome this because people whose weight gain is due to food ‘abuse’ can safely avoid food until the habit is broken and normal eating habits can be re-introduced, for example in conjunction with the Lipotrim maintenance formulas.
PDF version: ICP LIPOTRIM COLUMN Jan 13