Cravings

Why do we get cravings when pregnant?

You can find yourself craving the strangest things during pregnancy – but don't worry, say scientists, it's totally normal.

Found yourself craving pretzels or crisps? Scientists are looking at changes in the brain to do with cravings during pregnancy – specifically salt.

They found fruit flies crave salt just as much as mammals do, and that cravings play an important role in reproductive abilities.

It turns out salt is good for an expectant mother's reproductive system – they found a direct correlation between salt intake and reproduction in flies.

However, salt cravings didn't have anything to do with the actual needs of the female fly's body. Male flies inject a molecule into the female that manipulates her taste and increases her preference for salt, but even if they weren't able to produce eggs they still developed that craving.

Rather, the female's brain knows the body needs more salt to produce eggs and so changes the way it perceives salt to allow it to take in higher amounts.

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