Excess Sugar Consumption

“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.”

-Science News

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


One Comment Add yours

  1. As you say in this post the effect of sugar that raises dopamine but actually decreases it long term has similarity to drugs of abuse like cocaine. I have had an eating disorder since I was 7 over 30 years and my bulimia did not go into recovery until I adopted a food plan of Overeaters Anonymous that cut out sugar and high fat food and specified the amount of carbohydrate protein and fat at every meal. I did that for a while then re-introduced sugar. Soon the sugar use was back to almost daily and I was having frequent impulses to purge. It gave it up again which was an absolute nightmare and drove me crazy. Then after a period with no sugar I re-introduced sugar on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays. That was going very well and I really thought my eating disorder was cured until Easter Day when I had a massive binge on chocolate and high fat food and wanted to make myself sick again. Thankfully I wasn’t sick, I haven’t made myself sick since July 2009 but it did tell me that my eating disorder is not cured it is in recovery and I need to be very careful what I eat. I am now not eating any high sugar foods again, The difference with sugar and alcohol and cocaine (I was addicted to alcohol and cocaine but was 11 years clean at the beginning of this year) is that obviously sugar is far less dangerous and you can experiment with it. I wouldn’t try to re-introduce a bit of cocaine or alcohol into my diet as the consequences of a relapse on these substances could be disastrous.


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