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Methylphenidate Works on Brain to Decrease Appetite

Methylphenidate helps boost dopamine levels subsequently reducing one's appetite for fat

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Methylphenidate reduces people's appetite for fat and reduces their energy intake, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Gary S. Goldfield, Ph.D., of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind crossover study of 14 adults who were given either 0.5 mg/kg of methylphenidate or placebo one hour before being questioned on their level of hunger and on the reinforcing value of various snack foods. This was followed by a buffet-style lunch, giving the investigators the opportunity to measure subjects' energy intake and food preferences.

Compared with placebo, methylphenidate reduced energy intake and fat intake by 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively, even though both groups reported similar hunger levels, which implies that the effects of methylphenidate are not mediated by hunger.

"Our main findings of reduced energy intake and dietary fat consumption from methylphenidate are consistent with the neurobiological 'reward deficiency' hypothesis that the dopaminergic system plays an important role in regulating the consumption of appetitive behaviors such as eating and smoking," the authors conclude.

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