Researchers from Princeton University have found that SUGAR is ADDICTIVE
Professor Bart Hoebel and his team in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute have been studying signs of sugar addiction in rats for years. Until now, the rats under study have met two of the three elements of addiction.
They have demonstrated a behavioral pattern of increased intake and then showed signs of withdrawal.
His current experiments captured craving and relapse to complete the picture.
“If bingeing on sugar is really a form of addiction, there should be long-lasting effects in the brains of sugar addicts,” Hoebel said. “Craving and relapse are critical components of addiction, and we have been able to demonstrate these behaviors in sugar-bingeing rats in a number of ways.”
The Sad, Sad Story of Dr. Hoebel’s Sugar Addicted Lab Rats
As part of his experiment, Dr. Hoebel got a bunch of lab rats hooked on the white stuff. They would binge on that sweet powder like it was going out of style.
Then Dr. Hoebel would take away their sugar for a prolonged period of time….the bastard.
Then, like any good pusher, he returned with a brand new supply of that junk. And the rats went nuts. They consumed more sugar than they ever had before, suggesting craving and relapse behavior. Their motivation for sugar had grown.
“In this case, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder,” Hoebel said.
And it gets worse. He got them drunk.
The rats drank more alcohol than normal after their sugar supply was cut off, showing that the bingeing behavior had forged changes in brain function.
These functions served as “gateways” to other paths of destructive behavior, such as increased alcohol intake. And, after receiving a dose of amphetamine normally so minimal it has no effect, they became significantly hyperactive.
The increased sensitivity to the psychostimulant is a long-lasting brain effect that can be a component of addiction, Hoebel said.
Dr. Hoebel’s research has been submitted to the Journal of Nutrition for publication.
And the rats are serving time for the break and enters they committed in order to feed their addictions. Dr. Hoebel; I hope that you are proud of yourself.
But seriously, SUGAR is ADDICTIVE
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