No, Oreos are not as addictive as cocaine

English: Double Stuf Oreos, by Nabisco.

English: Double Stuf Oreos, by Nabisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank you, Stephanie Pappas from LiveScience!

“The study performed cannot determine whether Oreos are as addictive as cocaine,” said Edythe London, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who uses brain imaging to study the neural basis of drug cravings. “That question is best addressed in a comparison of how hard a rat will work for Oreos versus cocaine — how many times a rat will press a lever to get one or the other.”

The students also measured the expression of a protein called c-Fos, which indicates brain cell activity, in the nucleus accumbens of rats exposed to Oreos or cocaine. This brain region is important for pleasure and positive reinforcement and is involved in addiction because of the pleasurable feelings brought on by drugs.

The rats’ nucleus accumbens activated more strongly with the stimulus of Oreos than the stimulus of cocaine, but those findings don’t prove anything about the addictive potential of the cookies, either, London told LiveScience.

The study is “consistent with the fact that Oreos produce pleasure — but we knew that,” London said.

5 Comments

Filed under Controversies, Research

5 responses to “No, Oreos are not as addictive as cocaine

  1. I have never tasted an Oreo, never mind misused or been dependent on them, but as treatment centres are not full of folk who have robbed their grannies to fuel their cookie habit, I didn’t really buy that they were likely to be more addictive than cocaine. Nice to see a bit of perspective.

  2. Thanks for this! As a science writer, I have come to hate how reductionist scientists (well, maybe this is a prime example of how faulty the mainstream media is!) can be! Addiction affects and influences EVERY part of the brain, and many neurotransmitters working in conjunction, not just one area and one chemical. Not to mention, I’ve always found drawing conclusions about humans from a rodent’s behavior around a lever or a maze to be…astounding. It’s like, REALLY? Yes, it is nice to see a bit of perspective! 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Drunky Drunk Girl and commented:
    As a science writer, I have come to despise how reductionist scientists (well, maybe this is a prime example of how faulty the mainstream media is) can be! Addiction affects and influences EVERY part of the brain, and many neurotransmitters working in conjunction, not just one area and one chemical. Not to mention, I’ve always found drawing conclusions about humans from a rodent’s behavior around a lever or a maze to be…astounding. It’s like, REALLY? It is nice to see a bit of perspective!

  4. Stupid. And annoying. But then most thinks posted around Facebook are!

  5. This study pissed me off! First of all, what a waste. To abuse those poor rats for no real scientific benefit. This was a useless study with no human benefit, as far as I am concerned. And any living creature would likely choose a mind altering drug over saline, or oreos over a bland rice cake. idiot “scientists.” I would like to shove those scientists in a human sized maze, inject them with drugs against their will, and force them to find their way to food…after first starving them for awhile. bastards.