[/caption]Remember the old Pringles slogan, “Once you pop, you can’t stop”? Research now suggests it could be more true than we ever thought.

The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) says US researchers found that foods high in fat trigger natural feel-good chemicals with effects similar to those found in marijuana. These chemicals, called endocannabinoids, produce a drug-like feeling that can lead to gorging on foods such as chips and fries.

“This is the first demonstration that endocannabinoid signaling in the gut plays an important role in regulating fat intake,” said study researcher Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine.

Ironically, these same chemicals can also be produced after 50 minutes of vigorous running or bike-riding. It’s what many athletes call the “runner’s high.” But many would say getting it that way isn’t nearly as much fun.

Researchers are considering using the results of Piomelli’s study to create a drug that can block reception of endocannabinoid signals and possibly reduce cravings for fatty foods. We just hope it’ll increase a craving for exercise.

[The Independent]