It would be fair to say that majority of Australia felt the Easter long weekend “hangover” in full force walking back into work this morning. The reality set in when while having flashbacks, brought on by massive Sugar withdrawals, and you’re asking yourself was it all worth it?!
The simple answer is, no. But let’s move on from what’s happened and remember those famous words sung by Oasis back in 1995 – don’t look back in anger, I heard you say.
Isn’t it funny how, even though as alleged “adults” we know the mental and physical effects of what eating junk Food does to our bodies, but we still do it?
Lettuce try to break down why we felt the need to shove as many chocolate eggs as possible in our mouth over the weekend. In recent times, evidence of sugar Addiction has become a hot topic of discussion, along with the behavioral neurochemical effects of intermittent excess sugar consumption.
A snippet of research conducted on this topic by the US National Library of Medicine Institutes of Health outlines the experimental question is whether or not sugar can be a substance of abuse and lead to a natural form of addiction.
“Food addiction” seems plausible because brain pathways that evolved to respond to natural rewards are also activated by addictive drugs. Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine and thus might be expected to have addictive potential.
This review summarizes evidence of sugar dependence in an animal model. Four components of addiction are analyzed. “Bingeing”, “withdrawal”, “craving” and cross-sensitization are each given operational definitions and demonstrated behaviourally with sugar bingeing as the reinforcer.
These behaviors are then related to neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs. Neural adaptations include changes in dopamine and opioid receptor binding, enkephalin mRNA expression and dopamine and acetylcholine release in the nucleus accumbens.
The evidence supports the hypothesis that under certain circumstances rats can become sugar dependent. This may translate to some human conditions as suggested by the literature on eating disorders and obesity.
Neural systems that evolved to motivate and reinforce foraging and food intake also underlie drug-seeking and self-administration. The fact that some of these drugs can cause addiction raises the logical possibility that some foods might also cause addiction. Many people claim that they feel compelled to eat sweet foods, similar in some ways to how an alcoholic might feel compelled to drink.
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(In-text reference – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/)
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