General, Research, Technology

How does sugar affect the brain?

We all know that having a large amountsugar in our diet can lead to obesity, caries and diabetes, however, knowledge of these dangers still does not have any special effect on us when choosing ice cream, sweets or soda. Perhaps our brain is programmed to want sweets? And if so, how exactly does sugar affect the main organ of the central nervous system?

High-calorie diets can change the brain

Why do we love sweets?

Glucose is one of the most commonenergy sources on the planet. Nourishing the cells that make up our body, including brain neurons, sugar-based products are excellent sources of fast energy, which is why our body considers sweets to be the most pleasant substance to consume.

According to the portal, when we eat sweet food, our brain secretes a large amount of a special hormone - dopamine, which is responsible for human enjoyment. The desire to get even more positive emotions makes a person look for more and more new sources of glucose, with which the world around us abounds. However, due to the fact that at present we no longer need to make any special efforts to extract sweet food, a person can easily become addicted to sugar consumption.

See also: The most popular sweetener turned out to be deadly

Nutritional addiction is a controversial topic amongdoctors and scientists. The question of whether it is possible to equate dependence on food with narcotic has been discussed for more than a dozen years, since, unlike intoxicating substances, a person needs food as one of the main elements ensuring survival. At the same time, for sure, almost every one of us can have the same acquaintance who has a great craving for sweet food while experiencing stress or hunger. In order to withstand traction, a person needs to suppress the natural reaction that occurs in a network of inhibitory neurons concentrated in the prefrontal cortex. It is known that it is this type of neuron that is involved in making decisions, controlling impulses and deferring pleasure.

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Studies on rats showed thateating high sugar diets can change inhibitory neurons, making animals less able to control their behavior and make decisions. A sharp change in their diet also showed that it is the disturbances in inhibitory neurons that make our transition to a healthier type of nutrition so difficult.

Scientists believe that eating sweet can lead to addiction

So, one recent study askedpeople evaluate how much they want to eat high-calorie snacks when they feel hungry, compared to the moment when they just had lunch. People who regularly ate foods high in fat and carbohydrates rated their craving for snacks presented above even when they were not hungry.

An experiment suggests thatregular consumption of foods with a high sugar content can increase the craving for their use with even greater force, creating a kind of vicious circle. In addition, sugar-induced changes in the hippocampus can affect our memory and cognitive abilities. In order to neutralize the harmful effects of a high-glucose diet, experts recommend using foods rich in omega-3 fats, which, by the way, are excellent neuroprotectors and even stimulate the emergence and formation of new neurons in our body.