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Sugar Addiction – The Opiates of the brain

Author:
Sheilah Fulton
Categories:
Anti-inflammatory
sugarcartoon (2)

Sugar Addiction: The Trigger of Opiates of the Brain

The reality of human addiction to sugars is found within the brain.   May sound like a fraternity or sorority names yet Mu, Delta and Kappa are receptors involved with the stimulus of the brain’s reward system play an integral role in this addiction. Processed food with sugar induces euphoria as opioid drugs do (Des Maisons, 2008). The human brain undergoes a chemical process which leads to codependency of particular foods which give us that euphoric sensation. It is proven that foods laden with sucrose are culprit to feeding the endogenous opioid system the fuel for addiction. The neurotransmitters involved with this process include dopamine and endogenous opiates.

Brain Balance and Mood Stability

A deeper look at the biochemical reactions that occur during the trigger of opiates starts with the brain cells. In particular the brain cells that manufacture dopamine utilize l-phenylalanine which is an essential amino acid found both in brain and blood- it converts to tyrosine which synthesizes dopamine. Another important amino acid is tryptophan which produces serotonin. Both dopamine and serotonin effect our mood stability which in return can impact our choice of foods. (Pelchat, 2009)

In order to create brain balance or assist in stabilizing the neuro-activity that influences our moods, it is most beneficial for our health to obtain nutrients from organic and natural sources. This includes eating predominately a plant based diet for fruits and vegetables in natural form not only can help stabilize our moods, inhibit if not control HBP (high blood pressure), hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia and lastly- and most importantly prevent sugar addiction.

References:

  1. Des Maisons, Kathleen, PhD (2008). Potatoes not Prozac, NY, New York, Simon & Schuster.
  2. Pelchat, Marcia (2009). Food Addictions in Humans, Retrieved from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/139/3/620.long