Saturday, November 13, 2010

Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward

PLoS ONE: Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward


Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.

I'm sure many people would nod their heads in agreement with the assertion that sweet treats are addictive. What was once a rare treat for our paleo ancestors is now everywhere, and hard to say no to. There's some evidence that upping magnesium intake may help people deal with sugar cravings. I have some magnesium articles on my blog here. Stick around and take a look!

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