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Binge Eating Linked to Hypertension

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While periodic binge eating may not cause adverse health effects, new research suggests that chronic binge eaters may be more likely to suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure.

A team from Howard University College of Medicine tested the differences between female rats who either ate high-fat and high-sugar chow or regular chow for several weeks.

Rats that chronically binged on the high-fat and high-sugar chow were more likely to develop the mechanisms that lead to hypertension. Researchers also found these rats had lower levels of the orexin receptor 1 in the kidneys. which is associated with rewards from food and drugs.

Targeted drugs?

Since researchers were able to identify the molecular changes that occurred in rats who were junk-food binge eaters, drugs that target these pathways could potentially help reduce the urge to binge in humans, the team said.

“Our work is helping build a link in terms of how consistently poor diets of high fat and high sugar start a cascade that sets your body up for potentially developing diseases or other metabolic issues down the road,” said study co-leader Dr. Kimberlei Richardson. “Our research may lead to therapeutic and pharmacological treatments that reduce the risk of compulsive binge eaters developing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.”

Source: Newswise