In a study, rats fed on sugar rich foods were later exposed to drugs (cocaine and opiates). These rats showed distinct behavior patterns of dependency. Rats on a regular diet showed no such behavior patterns.
Scientists have increasingly come upon neuro-chemical and behavioural evidence that prove that sugar is addictive; and like all addiction BAD, leading to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure and even liver damage! Sugars are digested in the liver.
Many people say they crave sweet foods the same way alcoholics crave liquor, or a junkie craves his next “fix”. Believe it or not, this claim has some justification in science. Laboratory rats given intermittent access to a sugary drink exhibit typical addictive behaviors almost immediately: bingeing when sugar is available, crashing when it’s not (withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and craving-like behaviors). So, very sugary substances, at least behaviorally, act much like addictive narcotics. But what about physiologically?
Dopamine is one of our “feel-good” neurotransmitters that is largely responsible for our motivation and reward systems. Sugar behaves in a manner similar to other addictive substances by hijacking the brains ‘reward pathway’.
Typically, drug-seeking behavior will cause a rise in dopamine levels in the brain even before the drug is actually consumed––the mere anticipation of reward is oh-so rewarding. Rats addicted to sugar ingest it in a binge-like manner that releases dopamine in the accumbens during and right before consumption, much like heroin use in humans.
Too much sugar or over-consumption for a long period triggers off an unpleasant line of events in the human brain leading not only to cravings, loss of control but rising tolerance to sugar. The saving grace, if it can be called that is – the dopamine spike produced by sugar is not as violent as that produced by drugs.
E170 – Sugar is Addictive – www.diabetic.today