New Studies are Now Showing Just How Dangerous Sugar Can Be
It isn’t too difficult to imagine the effects that cocaine has on one’s body. If not from personal experience, you certainly have seen enough of sequences in movies to know how a person behaves when making use of this banned drug.
Well, it turns out that the humble sugar – which nevertheless gives you a high – does about the same things that cocaine does, and an Australian study has concluded that sugar addiction needs to be given the same place as cocaine addiction when it comes to treatment.
It does sound weird, but the study gave its reasons.
The team of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) ran a study on how the consumption of sugar impacts the brain and found out that this does the same thing that cocaine does as far as dopamine levels are concerned.
Consuming sugar in excessive quantities increases the dopamine levels and gives you that high or the ever-popular sugar rush. However, over the long term, the consumption of the same quantities may not give the same results, thus enticing the person into increasing the levels of sugar intake in order to obtain the same increase in the levels of dopamine produced. The decrease in dopamine levels has been linked to milder versions of depression, so this is indeed a serious condition.
While sugar has been directly related to the rising obesity issues the world over, the link between dopamine levels and sugar addiction has indeed given it a serious turn, with experts suggesting that sugar addiction should be treated the same way that we would treat a nicotine addiction.
“Excess sugar consumption has been proven to contribute directly to weight gain. It has also been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels which control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine,”
says Professor Bartlett, a neuroscientist at the Queensland University’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation section.
So how dangerous could addiction to sugar turn out to be to person who is already at a stage where he feels he just cannot do without it?
A separate study from the same team of researchers, in addition to the link between dopamine levels and sugar, also revealed that the addiction to sucrose may even cause behavioral changes and serious eating disorders.
Here’s an interesting statement from Dr. James Nicolantonio who had published a review related to the dangers of sugar.
“When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine, even when you get the rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to the sugar,”
says Dr. Nicolantonio.
The question now remains should we choose to treat sugar addiction the same way that we would tackle a case of addiction to cocaine.
“Our study found that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs like varenicline, a prescription medication trading as Champix which treats nicotine addiction, can work the same way when it comes to sugar cravings,”
reveals Professor Bartlett.
There is certainly some food for thought here no pun intended.