Dopamine, Robert Lusty, Fatty Liver discussed on The Upgrade by Lifehacker
With us is pediatric endocrinologists. Robert Lusty Hi Rob. Thank you so much for being here. It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you most. So even first came to public prominence for a lot of people when a video of one of your lectures went viral. The reason I show this is not just to show that the obese are getting obese or of course that's true but in fact the entire curve has shifted we all way twenty five pounds more today than we did twenty five years ago all of us tell us a bit about your background and what you do videos. The Bane of my existence really You know I didn't even think my mother would and she didn't and we'll sudden they're seven quarter million people The bottom line is I had absolutely no interest in being a public figure on the other hand I saw it was going on with children. I take care of children and for every Child I treated ten more. Were showing on my doorstep with obesity. Type two diabetes hypertension lipid problems early signs of heart. Disease Fatty liver disease. These are diseases that we never saw on children before. These diseases reserved for adults. And we're losing an entire generation when it became clear to me from a science standpoint what the problem was and realize that no one was approaching it or talking about it. I felt I needed to be talked about and so I did do that. Lecture it did by HAPPENSTANCE END UP ON YOUTUBE. And even by more happenstance it went viral. And since that time people have been looking to me for the answers. I am an accidental warrior. I'm not looking for fame and fortune. I'm just trying to fix a problem and it's a problem that I was sworn to fix you. Know as a pediatrician. So what led you from writing and talking about sugar to writing the hacking of the American mind. I was giving a grand rounds in psychiatry at a medical school here. United States and the woman who ran their outpatient recovery facility was giving me a tour of their facilities and she herself was a recovering heroin addict and she said to me. I was asking her. What being cleaned meant to her and she said when I was shooting up I was happy. What my new life has given me is pleasure. I thought to myself that's not right. That's opposite that is totally screwed up and But I went home in. That really bothered me and then We can have later. I was talking to my sister in law. Who Used to run the help desk at Pillsbury before they were taken over by General Mills and you know they would do things you know the people call in about problems with the ice crystals in there. You know poppin fresh dough and stuff like that. They were long gone that group but they were still all friends and they had a yearly gourmet club and they just had the gourmet club and the woman who had just had bariatric surgery. Said to my sister-in-law always looked so thin. How'd you do that and also I only eat when I'm hungry? And the woman said eating for hunger eating is about happiness again so jarring but of course I had heard that story before having been an OB physician for thirty some odd years You know hearing that from children from adults and I just went you know this is to obviously a big problem and it basically spurred me on through the book so you talk about pleasure and happiness being different. Can you explain that a little bit? So these are terms. That have been confused and conflicted. If you go online right now and Google pleasure or happiness. You will see the definitions. Virtually identical almost interchangeable the synonyms that we use for them. Go either way depending on. Who wrote it academics? Get it wrong too. I mean if you go right now to the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy and look up the word happiness it come like they have two definitions one is hedonism and the other is the life satisfaction theory now has hedonism equate with life satisfaction and why they both considered happiness. I am like totally befuddled and you should be because the current definitions don't work okay. So what is the difference between pleasure and happiness? There are seven. Pleasure is short lived like in a house like a good meal. Happinesses long-lived maybe a lifetime pleasure is visceral you feel it in your body happinesses ethereal. You feel it. Above the neck pleasure is taking like a casino happinesses giving like habitat for humanity. Pleasure can be achieved with substances like tobacco Alcohol Street drugs. Sugar and happiness cannot be achieved with substances. Pleasure is experienced alone. Now a of people often get pleasure. D- together but you experience it alone whether it be at a beer party or Token on a on a joint whereas happiness is usually experienced in social groups the reason for religion. It's the reason for clubs. It's the reason why people congregating together families the extremes of pleasure no matter whether they're behaviors or substances doesn't matter all lead to addiction in the extreme. Where's there's no such thing as being addicted too much happiness and then finally number seven the you know sort of PSI exists. Pleasure is dopamine and happiness is Serotonin so two different biochemicals two different neurotransmitters. To different areas of the brain that they work on two different sets of receptors two different modes of regulation and. Here's why it matters. Dopamine isn't excited Tori neurotransmitter so neurons. WanNa be excited but they WANNA be. Shall we say tickled a brief? Ex- citation they don't WANNA BE BLUDGEONED CHRONIC CITATION. Neurons are very temperamental. And they're very fragile. They require a lot of energy all the time. Which is why you have to maintain glucose or your brain goes kaput. If you over stimulate a neuron it will die. Chronic over stimulation of neurons by excited Tori neurotransmitters cause neuronal cell death so the Neuron has a backup plan. It has a defense mechanism. It HASN'T OPTION B. And what it does is it down. Regulates the receptor for that neurotransmitter. In order for fewer neurotransmitters to be able to bind to receptors because there are fewer receptors in other words. It's protecting itself by downing the gain so the way it works in human terms. Is You get a hit you? GotTa Rush Receptors. Good down next time you need a bigger hit to get the same rush and the receptors go down and they bigger a bigger and bigger until finally a huge head to get nothing that's called tolerance and then when the neurons start to die that's called addiction. Dopamine drives its own receptor down which is why the first bite of ice cream tastes unbelievably. Good and the last maybe not. So much on the other hand. Serotonin isn't inhibitory neurotransmitter. It does not excite the next neuron it actually slows down and actually stops the next from firing and that is the feeling of contentment is the downing of that firing rate. Well because its inhibitory. You don't need to down regulate the receptors. Because we're not going to destroy the non we're GONNA actually put it to rest so you can't overdose on too much happiness. But there's one thing that down regulates serotonin dopamine so the more pleasure. You seek.