Is there such a thing as sugar addiction?
It comes in a white, crystalline form and gives us a pleasurable high – but refined sugar is as habit-forming as cocaine or nicotine, according to a review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/08/23/bjsports-2017-097971). Animal studies show that sugar is the drug of choice for lab rats which, when given a choice of levers to pull, will switch from cocaine to sucrose in the twitch of a tail.
Sugar makes us obese, can promote the development of type 2 diabetes, raises our blood pressure and give us fatty livers. But it also alters our mood, making us feel rewarded and euphoric.
The lead author of the review, James DiNicolantonio at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, says that, unlike salt, sugar has no “aversion signal”. “Salt taste receptors will ‘flip’ when you’ve had too much, but this doesn’t happen with sugar – so we have a built-in safety mechanism that protects us from overconsuming salt but not sugar,” he says. “People can eat an entire bag of cookies or endless bars of chocolate and still want more.”
|Is there such a thing as sugar addiction? | Life and style | The Guardian|