Is Sugar Addicting?
The research on this question is still being debated but without a clear answer, yet it continues with a lot of emotion and frustration. I believe there are many neurophysiological reasons involving dopamine brain cell receptors, GABA brain receptors and numerous reward brain circuits that motivate an individual to want and like sugar, but not involve a physiological response that makes one require and need sugar. You may like refined sugar and crave it, but not have a physiological drive to acquire it and use it. If an alcoholic or heroin addict doesn’t have access to the use of the addicting substance their body will recoil in a physiological revolt and demand it’s use through convulsions and other serve bio-physiological reactions.
What gives sugar the impression of being an addictive substance is in reality a normal physiological response to a rapid drop in blood sugar. When an individual eats refined sugar such as in a processed sugary snack food, like candy, donuts, pastries and sugar sweetened beverages, the blood sugar levels rapidly increase which then triggers an immediate response and release of the hormone insulin. This increased release of insulin causes a dramatic and immediate reduction of the elevated blood sugar. This acute drop of blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, causes a release of the hormone norepinephrine which causes a panic like stimulation of the body with rapid heart rate, sweating, anxiety and an intense sense of cravings for more sugar, but this is only the body’s attempt to restore and correct the hypoglycemia. The hunger for sugar is intense, but it is a normal physiological response and it is not an addictive withdrawal response. As a treating obesity medicine specialist, I am aware of the hypoglycemic response following a sugar binge, but it should not be confused with an addiction. To do so makes the individual who misuses sugar a victim, while knowing the difference empowers the individual.
If cravings for carbohydrate and refined sugary snack foods is a barrier that prevents you from losing those extra weight that you always wanted to lose, I suggest using AttenuSlim. This is an herbal weight loss supplement that I developed to help reduce appetite, decrease hunger and most importantly, curb the cravings for carbohydrates, refined sugars and snack foods. To help break the habit of snacking, that usually leads to gaining extra abdominal weight, you might also consider using Attenuate. When Attenuate is mixed into a large bottle of water and taken throughout the day, it helps you to stay hydrated, while sipping but not snacking, as you lose weight. For more information on AttenuSlim and Attenuate, please go to: attenuatepro.com. Peter Vash,M.D.,M.P.H.