Sugar has same effect on brain as powerful drugs like cocaine, medical journal says

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Sugar has the same effect on the brain as powerful drugs like cocaine, the British Journal of Sports Medicine has said.

Scientists claimed that sugar can be just as addictive as powerful illegal drugs and can cause cravings, binges and withdrawal symptoms.

Cutting out sugar can cause symptoms similar to a drug addict going cold turkey and could even lead to depression and behavioural disorders such as ADHD, according to the medical journal.

It said sugar could act as a gateway to alcohol and other addictive substances, adding that like cocaine and opium, sugar is refined from plants to yield pure crystals which they say “adds to the addictive properties.”

The article was written by cardiovascular research scientist James J DiNicolantonio and cardiologist James H O’Keefe, from the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas.

They wrote: “Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure.”

The researchers cited experiments on rats which showed sugar was more addictive than opioid drugs and that the same was likely to be true for humans.

But Hisham Ziauddeen, a psychiatrist at Cambridge University, said the rodent studies had been misunderstood. 

He told the Guardian: “The rodent studies show that you only get addiction-like behaviours if you restrict the animals to having [sugar] for two hours every day. If you allow them to have it whenever they want it – which is really how we consume it – they don’t show these addiction-like behaviours.

“What this means is that it is the combination of that particular kind of intermittent access and sugar that produces those behaviours. Further you get the same kind of effect if you use saccharin … so it seems to be about sweet taste rather than sugar.”

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search



Leave a Reply