Cannabinoid-like Fatty Acids

Author: Ernald Duni
Date: 26/07/2010


Chocolate and cocoa are thought to contain the unsaturated N-acylethanolamines (N-oleoylethanolamine, N-linoleoylethanolamine), which are chemically and pharmacologically related to anandamide. These lipids could mimic cannabinoid ligands either directly (by activating cannabinoid receptors) or indirectly (by increasing anandamide levels). Elevated brain anandamide levels could magnify the sensory properties of chocolate that are fundamental to craving. Elevated anandamide levels could also interact with other biologically active constituents of chocolate (ie, caffeine, theobromine) to induce a noticeable sense of well-being. The researchers also found that the 2 N-acylethanolamines appear to interfere with the brain's ability to hydrolyze anandamide; hence, they may extend the consequent sense of well-being.

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