Sugar May Be More Addictive Than Cocaine

This May be Hard to Believe but Sugar and Saccharin May Be More Addictive Than Cocaine

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are so accessible, affordable and socially sanctioned, that few consider their habitual consumption to be a problem on the scale of say, addiction to cocaine. But if recent research is correct their addictive potential could be even worse.

Sugar-May-Be-More-Addictive-Than-Cocaine

Almost 40 years ago, William Duffy published a book called Sugar Blues which argued that refined sugar is an addictive drug and profoundly damaging to health. While over 1.6 million copies have been printed since its release in 1975, a common criticism of the book has been that it lacked sufficient scientific support.

Today, William Duffy’s work is finding increasing support in the first-hand, peer-reviewed and published scientific literature itself. Not only is sugar drug-like in effect, but it may be more addictivethan cocaine. Worse, many sugar-free synthetic sweeteners carry with them addictive properties and toxicities that are equal to, or may outweigh those of sugar.

Sugar  More Addictive Than CocaineBack in 2007, a revealing study titled, “Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward,” found that when rats were given the option of choosing between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin. This preference for sweetness was not attributable to its unnatural ability to induce sweetness without calories, because the same preference was found with sucrose; nor was the preference for saccharin overcome by increasing doses of cocaine.

A common argument against the relevance of animal studies like this to human behavior is that rats differ too profoundly from humans. However, even insects like forager bees have been found to respond in a similar way to humans when given cocaine, experiencing an overestimation of the value of the floral resources they collected, with cessation of chronic cocaine treatment causing a withdrawal-like response.

Researchers believe that intense sweetness activates ancient neuroendocrine pathways within the human body, making obsessive consumption and/or craving inevitable. The authors of the cocaine/saccharin study summarized this connection as follows:

Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.

The drug-like properties of common beverages and foods, have been the subject of a good deal of research over the past few decades. Wheat and related grains, for instance, are a major food source of opioid peptides. These pharmacologically active compounds, also found in milk, coffee and evenlettuce, may even explain why ancient hunters and gatherers took the agrarian leap over 10,000 years ago. Likely, the transition from the Paleolithic to Neolithic was motivated by a combination of environmental pressures and the inherently addictive properties made accessible and abundant due to the agrarian/animal husbandry mode of civilization.

As far as synthetic sweeteners, an accumulating body of toxicological research indicates they have a wide range of unintended, adverse health effects beyond the aforementioned problem of addiction. For a comprehensive list, view our Artificial Sweetener Research page.

One clear implication of these findings is that one is best served consuming natural sweet foods, including honey, or fruit like apples. Not only are these easier to consume in moderation, but they have a profound set of “side benefits” as well. To learn more read our recent explorations:

  1. The man who tried to warn us about sugar
  2. Doctors Warn Sugar Health Risk as Bad as Tobacco And Alcohol

Resources

Magalie Lenoir, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, Serge H Ahmed. Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward. PLoS One. 2007 ;2(8):e698. Epub 2007 Aug 1. PMID: 17668074

Andrew B Barron, Ryszard Maleszka, Paul G Helliwell, Gene E Robinson. Effects of cocaine on honey bee dance behaviour. J Exp Biol. 2009 Jan;212(Pt 2):163-8. PMID: 19112134

Source | GreenMedInfo

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Spain Study Confirms Hemp Oil Cures Cancer without Side Effects

The International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA) is putting hemp oil on its cancer protocol. It is a prioritized protocol list whose top five items...

98% of Countries Ban Fluoride in their Water

Most Countries Ban or Reject Water Fluoridation: Why North America is Actually the Exception ? Water fluoridation is just one of the many hot-button health...

Internal Emails Show FDA is Withholding the Fact that Foods in Your Pantry are Laced With Toxic Weedkiller

Glyphosate is Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, appearing in hundreds of agricultural and gardening products, and although it has been linked to cancer and other serious...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

Spain Study Confirms Hemp Oil Cures Cancer without Side Effects

The International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA) is putting hemp oil on its cancer protocol. It is a prioritized protocol list whose top five items...

175 dangerous chemicals found in food packaging

Warning over 175 dangerous chemicals found in food packaging: Substances are linked to cancer, fertility and birth defects Some food packaging contains hazardous chemicals linked...

Surprise Surprise: New Study Reveals Antidepressants Double the Risk of Suicide and Violence in Healthy Adults

Its long been exposed that antidepressants at best don’t work and at worst cause serious damage. Yet according to a new study conducted on healthy...

Migraines? You might find this study very interesting

Migraines Associated With Variations in Structure of Brain Arteries If you are one of the estimated 28 million in the United States or 8 million...

Your Phone Can Help You Tune Into Nature ?

How Technology Can Help You Tune Back Into Nature The summer months have an uncanny way of making us realize how much time we don't...

The Senate Just Sold Out Your Internet Privacy

Despite widespread disapproval from constituents, S.J.Res 34 has passed the United States Senate with a vote of 50-48, with two absent votes. Yesterday, at 12:25...

1000’s of Personal Details of Facebook Users Submitted to Government

Facebook has fulfilled the request of the government by submitting the information of the over 6039 profiles – and adding 1160 profiles of emergency situations. Overall, the...

CIA Influence On Hollywood To Be Exposed By Congress

Congress have approved a bill that will force the government to shed light on the influence the CIA has over Hollywood. An amendment to Congress’...