Do You Have A Sweet Tooth? Sugar Addiction Has Similarities With Drug Addiction, Study Finds
Most packaged food in the market contains sugar. For this reason, people's sugar tolerance has increased which has also resulted in an increased number of obesity and diabetes cases. According to a new study, sugar addiction also bears some similarities with drug addiction.
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Researchers at Queensland University of Technology conducted a study that shows how sugar addiction and drug addiction have the same effects on the brain, Medical Daily reports. The study found that consuming lots of sugar can lead to an increase in dopamine levels and an activation of reward pathways in the brain that are similar to the effects of drug addiction.
"Excess sugar consumption has been proven to contribute directly to weight gain," study author and Queensland University of Technology professor Selena Bartlett said in a press release. "It has also been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels which control the brain's reward and pleasure centers in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine."
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People with sugar addiction will no longer experience an increase in dopamine levels after consuming lots of sugar for a long period of time. In order to experience an increase in dopamine levels, some people with sugar addiction will eat even a larger amount of sugar.
Aside from diabetes and obesity, sugar addiction can cause other negative health effects. Teeth damage, liver disease, cancer development, increased cholesterol level and a higher risk for heart disease are some of the effects of sugar addiction on the body, Authority Nutrition shares.