Sugar Activates The “Nucleus Accumbens” Just Like Class A Drugs

For a long time, many nutrition experts hesitated to use the term “addictive” when describing food. They would argue that there was no such thing as a “food addict” and that it was an exaggeration.

Exaggeration it is not.

New research from Harvard Medical School has proven that sugar activates a region of our brains called the “nucleus accumbens” in the same way that class A drugs do.

The study was led by Dr. Belinda Lennerz, who was curious as to why weight reduction is such a challenge for so many of us. She and her colleagues wanted to understand if overeating is perpetuated by processed, taste-enhanced food, especially foods with a high glycemic index.

High glycemic index (“high GI”) foods are refined starches and sugary foods that cause a rapid increase and decrease in blood sugar after we eat them. This triggers more hunger and sometimes affects moods by causing irritability.

They studied the brains of two groups of healthy, overweight men after eating either high-glycemic or low-glycemic milkshakes. The brain images revealed that a particular part of the brain became highly activated—the nucleus accumbens.

This nucleus accumbens is the source for mediating pleasure, reward sensations and cravings. It’s the same part of the brain that lights up after consumption of heroin and cocaine.

Big surprise, right?10306261_10152392037706178_3022584165560312542_n

While you may have guessed that, the research is now backing up what many people who’ve felt for a long time: it’s not necessarily so easy to simply stop overindulging or eating certain foods. Some of us are dealing with an issue of an addicted brain, which can be a different challenge to overcome.

When I started to get that it wasn’t that I was a complete failure when it came to avoiding overeating…it was that I was trying to fight a brain that had formed an addiction. (You can watch me explain this further here.)

Once I got that, I made huge strides in overcoming binge eating by learning about my brain and psychology; I applied this to be able to manage my urges and finally make lasting changes.

You can read the full article here in the Daily Mail.



Share this post:


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather


Follow Binge Eating Breakthrough:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubeby feather