From: email@example.com (Mark Israel)
Subject: Love and Chocolate
Date: 20 Sep 91 05:15:46 GMT
In article <1991Sep18.firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
(Eleanor Evans) writes:
> And of course we all know that people fall in love because they're not
> getting enough chocolate.
(Re-post of an article I posted in January.)
This theory has been more or less abandoned by the researcher
who originally proposed it.
"How the brain system fluctuations that accompany feeling
attracted and attractive come about are still unclear, but it
could involve some sort of amphetaminelike chemical whose level
in our brain goes up when we meet the right person. As to what
that chemical might be, we're simply not sure. Phenylethylamine
(PEA) might be involved.... PEA is an amphetaminelike substance
that may also be the source for norepinephrine and dopamine
because it is chemically very similar to them.... Post-romance
depressions might involve PEA deficits....
"In one interview I remarked that chocolate was loaded with
PEA, so perhaps people ate chocolate to enhance romantic feelings.
This became the focus for an article in _The New York Times_,
which was then taken up by the wire services, then by magazine
free-lancers, and evolved into the chocolate theory of love....
"Many people do seem to eat chocolate when depressed.... Could
this be an attempt at self-medication -- trying instinctively to
make for the lowered internal level of PEA? This sounded
reasonable, until Dr. Richard Wyatt... and a few of his associates
tried eating pounds of chocolate, which didn't raise their urine
levels of PEA at all and only gave them headaches.... PEA present
in food is normally quickly broken down by our bodies, so that it
doesn't even reach the blood, let alone the brain....
"Our hypothesis about the links between love and chocolate has
gotten a lot of attention in the press, but it may turn out that
people turn to chocolate when they're unhappy for the sugar, the
caffeine, or out of habit, and not to get a shot of PEA."
-- Michael Liebowitz, _The Chemistry of Love_
I have heard the Wobble! firstname.lastname@example.org