Dr. May Yacoob, PhD -  Nutrition and Health

"I believe we are here to enjoy life and each other. Healthy eating is one of life's pleasures."
Dr May Yacoob San Clemente CA
Dr May Yacoob San Clemente CA

The Scientific Answer

Over a decade ago, I focused my medical research into the effect different foods had on body chemistry as well genetic predisposition of drug, alcohol and food addiction.

In 1994, research by Prof. Earnest Noble at UCLA demonstrated that food addiction is biogenetic and is an inherited trait. My mother, brother, maternal grandmother all have diabetes and weight related diseases.

Research linked a particular gene to addiction. The focus on a dopamine receptors gene that is responsible for sensations of pleasure and reward. The gene A1 linked to alcohol and cocaine is also evident in people like myself who crave carbohydrates of all types , sugars of all types -including natural "healthy" sweeteners or artificial sweeteners - including lactose from milk products, and fats- especially treated and processed fats.

This research continued to grow and demonstrate that people with eating disorders carrying A1 gene had fewer dopamine receptors than "normal" people who carry the A2 gene. This suggests that the people with fewer dopamine receptors use a larger amount of food to be able to satisfy the deficit. Just as alcohol and cocaine increase the level of brain dopamine, so do carbohydrates. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates fats and sugars brought on the "feel good" because of the increased level of brain chemicals.

In short I came to understand that food addiction is the self medication of a distressed body with a bio chemical brain imbalance. I began to understand that it was not so much calories but also types of food, their combinations, and the quantities eaten.