Binge Eating Linked to Hypertension
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.
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.”