Sugar like a drug

Do you start each day with something sweet? You cannot imagine a meal without even the smallest dessert? Do you drink only sweet drinks? Perhaps it's not a habit - it's an addiction. Sugar addicts and its action is similar to that caused by alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

In February 2012 in Nature magazine an article titled: "The toxic truth about sugar" was published. It was written by a group of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The authors claim that the sale of sugar and sugar confectionery should be regulated just like that of alcohol and cigarettes. High sugar consumption may significantly worsen health condition or even lead to premature death, just like high intake of alcohol. Some similarities between high intake of alcohol and sugar are surprising: increase of blood pressure, disruption of nervous system, pancreas and liver damage are only some of possible common results of high consumption of these substances.


On the basis of research it can be stated that sugar activates the same metabolic tracks in brain and it influences the so-called "prize system" similarly to those caused by known addictive substances classified as drugs. In experiments led on the animal model it occurred that lab animals choose sugar over cocaine despite cocaine dependency!  Although nobody claims that the addictive sugar activity is as strong as hard drugs, it is a fact that people who are trying to resign from sugar in one day show the signs of withdrawal, just like after many other addictive substances.


The problem with sugar is that it is not perceived as a threat in general. The same moms and grand moms who would never let anyone serve their children or grandchildren cigarettes or alcohol buy them chocolates and sweets themselves and develop addiction which may cause many problems in the future. If we think badly about sweet meals, it is only connected with overweight, whereas the influence of sugar on our figure is just the tip of the iceberg. The havoc that is made by products rich in glucose, fructose and saccharose in our bodies is, unfortunately, similar to that caused by alcohol.


If you have a big problem with resigning from eating sweets or limiting their consumption, it is worth to consult a dietitian. There are many effective ways of fighting "the sweet addiction", where not only a method but also a psychological support matters. It is good to remember that the elimination of refined sugar from the diet will positively influence the body and health, but also the mood.

Sources: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/full/482027a.html