Some people may feel that drugs are OK, but others want desperately to get rid of their addictions. In case "just say no" doesn’t work for you, researchers have discovered a chemical that can help heroin users kick their habit, while at the same time increasing the pain relief for patients who are taking medicines like morphine.

The Medical Xpress website quotes researcher Mark Hutchinson as saying, "Our studies have shown conclusively that we can block addiction via the immune system of the brain, without targeting the brain’s wiring.

"Both the central nervous system and the immune system play important roles in creating addiction, but our studies have shown we only need to block the immune response in the brain to prevent cravings for opioid drugs."

As all dieters know, we can become addicted to food as well, because mood-enhancing effects are associated with some flavors, stemming at least in part from natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug. This effect joins those previously reported for chocolate, teas and some other known comfort foods.

Karina Martinez-Mayorga says, "Molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive effects on mood. In turn, our studies show that some commonly used flavor components are structurally similar to valproic acid," which is used to smooth out the mood swings of people with manic-depressive disorder and related conditions. Some brand names are Depakene, Depakote and Stavzor.

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