Why Sugar is So Addictive?

Posted on November 4, 2016

Addiction is a medical condition in which the person has uncontrollable desire to take a substance or engage in an activity, despite knowing that it may lead to adverse effects. Taking that substance or engaging in that activity will make the person feel good. Does sugar fit the bill? Clearly yes, as so many of us cannot control cravings for something sweet.

The most common form of sugar in our food is sucrose. When ingested, this sugar is split in the digestive system into its two constituents, glucose and fructose. Insulin and glucagon are two enzymes most important for the metabolism of glucose. They both regulate the level of glucose in the human body.

One of the human tissues which cannot tolerate low levels of glucose is brain tissue. The main reason for that is the inability of neurons to store glucose and use that stored glucose when levels decrease. That is the reason why the human brain is the first in line for the glucose supply. The brain is also the biggest burner of glucose in the human body.

Some people might say that they eat candies to feel happy. And they are not wrong. Sugar increases the release of neurotransmitter serotonin, which gives a person the happy feeling. The catch is that sugar also causes the release of insulin which eventually normalizes the glucose level, and when glucose is back to relatively low levels, we will again strive to take sugar just to feel happy again. This may lead to a vicious circle of constantly eating sweets just to feel good. The result is overeating and possible addiction.

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Category(s):Addictions, Eating Disorders

Source material from Brain Blogger


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