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Obesity as a Condition Determined by Food Addiction: Should Brain Endocannabinoid System Alterations Be the Cause and Its Modulation the Solution?

1
UGC Salud Mental, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), Universidad de Málaga-Hospital Universitario Regional de Málaga, 29010 Málaga, Spain
2
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “V. Erspamer”, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Magdalena Kotańska
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14101002
Received: 24 August 2021 / Revised: 24 September 2021 / Accepted: 26 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Searching for New Therapeutic Targets with Anti-obesity Potential)
Obesity is a complex disorder, and the number of people affected is growing every day. In recent years, research has confirmed the hypothesis that food addiction is a determining factor in obesity. Food addiction is a behavioral disorder characterized by disruptions in the reward system in response to hedonic eating. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the central and peripheral control of food intake and reward-related behaviors. Moreover, both obesity and food addiction have been linked to impairments in the ECS function in various brain regions integrating peripheral metabolic signals and modulating appetite. For these reasons, targeting the ECS could be a valid pharmacological therapy for these pathologies. However, targeting the cannabinoid receptors with inverse agonists failed when used in clinical contexts as a consequence of the induction of affective disorders. In this context, new classes of drugs acting either on CB1 and/or CB2 receptors or on synthetic and degradation enzymes of endogenous cannabinoids are being studied. However, further investigation is necessary to find safe and effective treatments that can exert anti-obesity effects, normalizing reward-related behaviors without causing important adverse mood effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; food addiction; endocannabinoid system; brain; reward system; cannabinoid receptors obesity; food addiction; endocannabinoid system; brain; reward system; cannabinoid receptors
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Ceglia, M.; Decara, J.; Gaetani, S.; Rodríguez de Fonseca, F. Obesity as a Condition Determined by Food Addiction: Should Brain Endocannabinoid System Alterations Be the Cause and Its Modulation the Solution? Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14, 1002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14101002

AMA Style

de Ceglia M, Decara J, Gaetani S, Rodríguez de Fonseca F. Obesity as a Condition Determined by Food Addiction: Should Brain Endocannabinoid System Alterations Be the Cause and Its Modulation the Solution? Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(10):1002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14101002

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Ceglia, Marialuisa, Juan Decara, Silvana Gaetani, and Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca. 2021. "Obesity as a Condition Determined by Food Addiction: Should Brain Endocannabinoid System Alterations Be the Cause and Its Modulation the Solution?" Pharmaceuticals 14, no. 10: 1002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14101002

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