“With obesity rates on the rise worldwide and excess sugar consumption considered a direct contributor, the search has been on for treatments to reverse the trend.”
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for the body reacting to any reward or pleasure. Sugar elevates dopamine. With an excessive stimulation over time, however, the level of dopamine may actually decrease.
“This leads to higher consumption of sugar to get the same level of reward.”
Furthermore, excessive stimulation from sugar over an extended period of time may have psychological consequences. “Like other drugs of abuse, withdrawal from chronic [sugar] exposure can result in an imbalance in dopamine levels and be as difficult as going ‘cold turkey’ from them.”
I have always thought moderation is key; however, it does sound like this may not be an option for some. To use food effectively for emotional reasons may be appropriate for the majority of people, and discontinued use of sugar entirely may be more appropriate for those with a heightened sensitivity to sugar.
It may be time to do something about that sweet tooth.
Reference: Treating Sugar Addiction Like Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved April 08, 2016, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407111828.htm