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Old 09-13-2010, 09:48 AM   #1
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Default Research on addictive behavior and sugar in rats

I found this fascinating! The way I read it, your dopamine receptors shut down because of the flood of dopamine produced when you eat sugar. Which would make it so that it would be harder to get pleasure from other activities when you eat too much sugar. They don't actual say this, but it seems you could draw that conclusion from the brain changes outlined here.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone else reach the same conclusion I did?

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:16 AM   #2
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It makes perfect sense to me. Like many of the processes in the body there is an optimum level and duration of the hormones and chemicals we need to live and enjoy life. Just like insulin, estogen, serotonin and thyroid, etc. We either don't make enough of them, or too much, or release them at the wrong time or wrong amount or have an internal resistance to using them properly.

By releasing most/all of the stored dopamine triggered in a sugar surge, it will take some time to replenish the dopamine. Meanwhile, we want the dopamine rush again and continue to try to recreate it by eating more sugar. There's just no more dopamine left to release. Its the general problem with other addictions - the inital rush and then trying to get it again and again.

I am not shocked at finding the connection between sugar and dopamine. And soon, they will probably find a connection between fat and some other brain chemical. And this will support the rumors of manufacturers making food addictive. In my skepticism, I believe they have done research on what triggers the optimum reactions when eating their product and use it to trick us to eat more. It is up to us to make the choice to eat their products.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
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I think to some degree humans have known all along (since humans existed or at least since we began cooking) that combining fat/sugar/salt/texture together makes food difficult to resist. It's the "yummy factor".

We've just never in human history have had access to these quantities and concentrations of fat/sugar/salt before.

I'm not trying to justify or condone Big Food. I'm not. I think the first step is avoiding processed food, but if you don't recognize the fat/sugar/salt connection you can duplicate it esily with whole foods. I did that for many years. I ate very healthy, mostly unprocessed (or not very processed) foods, but I was still combining salt/sugar/fat without realizing it. Fruit juice isn't much better than Kool-Aid and dried fruits aren't much better than candy. You have to remember the "yummy factor" even in a whole food lifestyle.

I'm not saying you don't eat yummy foods, but you have to remember that the salt/fat/sugar combo is an addictive one. So eating those flavors separately may be wiser than combining them (especially combining all three).
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