Just one pint, what’s the harm right?
Well according to researchers, just one sip of beer triggers the desire to want more.
A new study has discovered the sensory cues associated with drinking may stimulate certain parts of the brain and cause a craving for more alcohol.
"This is the first human demonstration that a stimulus that is reliably associated with alcohol association -- that flavor alone, without any significant amount of alcohol -- is able to induce a dopamine response," the study’s author David Kareken, a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, told Health Day.
The findings also showed that for those who had parents or siblings with alcoholism, the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward-and-pleasure centers, was even greater.
Published on Monday in the medical journal Neuropsychopharmacology, Kareken says the research may help reduce the stigma of alcoholism.
"This is really quite strong evidence that there are genetic factors that change the brain's chemistry,” and may act as risk factors for dependence."
Added Dr. Scott Krakower, medical director of the Mineola Community Treatment Center in Mineola, N.Y., "it's one of the first pieces of research that tests whether the flavor of something affects behavior.”
"People tell me they can't be around alcohol at all because it immediately triggers them to start drinking.”
As the doctor points out this research could “change some physicians' advice to patients if they're aware there's an exponential increase in drinking, just due to the flavor of the drink.”
The study only included male participants who expressed a preference for drinking beer since it was difficult to find women to take part in the study that met certain criteria.
The ethnicity or economic level of the participants were not included as part of the study.