Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Problem of the Day: Sugar Addiction.

A comment in Nature (Feb 2, 2012) about addictive properties of sugar:

Sugar also has a clear potential for abuse. Like tobacco and alcohol, it acts on the brain to encourage subsequent intake. There are now numerous studies examining the dependence-producing properties of sugar in humans6. Specifically, sugar dampens the suppression of the hormone ghrelin, which signals hunger to the brain. It also interferes with the normal transport and signalling of the hormone leptin, which helps to produce the feeling of satiety. And it reduces dopamine signalling in the brain’s reward centre, thereby decreasing the pleasure derived from food and compelling the individual to consume more.

The more sugar we consume (either through food or drink), the hungrier we feel. Therefore, sugary drinks in combination with junk food make a lot of business sense, if one wants sell a lot of food.

tags: effect, health, problem

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