How sugar addiction impacts the brain
Researchers from Denmark's Aarhus University fed seven pigs sugar water over a 12-day period and found that the sugar was able to change the chemistry of their brain.
AARHUS, DENMARK — New research from the journal Scientific Reports has found that sugar has the ability to transform our brain chemistry.
Scientists from Denmark's Aarhus University performed their experiment on seven pigs to test out their theory. These pigs were fed two liters of sugar water on a daily basis over a 12-day period.
The pigs' brains were imaged using a brain scanner prior to the experiment, after the first day of the experiment and after the last day of the experiment.
Researchers found significant changes in the pigs' brains' dopamine and opioid systems.
Michael Witherdahl, one the researchers involved in the study, said in a Aarhus University press release that the pigs' opioid system, which is associated with well-being and pleasure, had been activated after the pig's first sugar intake.
Witherdahl explained both natural stimuli and artificial stimuli have the ability to activate the brain to release dopamine and opioids.
He said humans may end up replacing natural stimuli, such as socializing, with artificial stimuli, such as sugar, in order to get a rush of dopamine and opioids to the brain.
As part of the bigger picture, the study was looking to see how palatable food, such as sugar, is addicting and how it affects the human body.
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