Human pheromones are like sugar (and spice)

Monday’s medical myth: Blame it on my sweet tooth July 23, 2012 By Merlin Thomas in Overweight and Obesity


Sweet foods may also be preferred for their hedonistic as well as their comforting properties, partly through its effects on brain chemicals including endogenous opiates. Sugar was probably the first drug. And the more enjoyable, rewarding or relaxing the experience, the more likely you’ll reach for it again

My comment: GnRH neurons in the hypothalamic neurogenic niche, which  links the epigenetic effects of pheromones directly to intracellular signaling, stochastic gene expression, and behavior, also appear to directly sense glucose. What this means in the context of sweetness is that you can get from the advent of sexual reproduction in yeasts to the nutrient-directed GnRH regulation of the human neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems with a single molecule that is conserved across 400 milliion years of nutrient-dependent vertebrate evolution.

I think that model of adaptive evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction has more explanatory power than any current evolutionary theory of human behavioral development. Do you think if I told others that pheromones are like sugar (instead of spices) they would develop a taste for learning about what’s required to link sensory input – like food odors and pheromones- directly to hormones like GnRH and receptor-mediated animal behavior?

Author: James Kohl

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