Merely a Taste of Beer Can Trigger a Rush of Chemical Pleasure in the Brain

New research shows just a sip of beer can cause a rush of pleasure due to the potent neurotransmitter dopamine. Photo by Orimo/Flickr
New research shows just a sip of beer can cause a rush of pleasure due to the potent neurotransmitter dopamine.
Photo by Orimo/Flickr

I decided it was ok to take a break from the serious stuff today.  It’s been somber enough here in the US lately.  Something light-hearted might just be welcome.

Anyone who knows me well knows I love beer, and specifically, I love IPA – India Pale Ale.  Yes, Sleuth4Health swills her IPA and what’s more, I live in a state where microbrews are a significant portion of the state’s overall economy and I do like to support local business!  There is no shortage of artisan beer in my neighborhood, let alone my city.

So I found this at the Smithsonian website and it made me smile (maybe even the thought of a taste of beer can release dopamine).  Enjoy – and if you’re a beer drinker, enjoy it even more 🙂  Cheers!   ~JuleeK@Sleuth4Health

Here is an excerpt:

If you take just a sip of beer, and moments later—before you’ve had close to enough alcohol to get intoxicated, perhaps even before the beer has hit your stomach—feel a distinctly pleasurable sensation, it might not be strictly due to subtle aromas that result from the beverage’s blend of malt, hops and yeast. The cause of your pleasure might be due to tangible changes in your brain chemistry—specifically, a surge in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Scientists have long known that part of the reason alcohol induces pleasure is that intoxication leads to the release of dopamine, which is associated with the use of other drugs (as well as sleep and sex) and acts as a reward for the brain. But new research suggests that, for some people, intoxication isn’t necessary: Simply the taste of beer alone can provoke a release of the neurotransmitter within minutes.  Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/04/merely-a-taste-of-beer-can-trigger-a-rush-of-chemical-pleasure-in-the-brain/#ixzz2Qmk8ndId

Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: