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Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jul;52(14):910-913. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097971. Epub 2017 Aug 23.

Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review.

Author information

1
Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas, USA.
2
Lahey Health and the Wilson Institute of Neurobiology, Burlington, USA.

Abstract

In animal studies, sugar has been found to produce more symptoms than is required to be considered an addictive substance. Animal data has shown significant overlap between the consumption of added sugars and drug-like effects, including bingeing, craving, tolerance, withdrawal, cross-sensitisation, cross-tolerance, cross-dependence, reward and opioid effects. Sugar addiction seems to be dependence to the natural endogenous opioids that get released upon sugar intake. In both animals and humans, the evidence in the literature shows substantial parallels and overlap between drugs of abuse and sugar, from the standpoint of brain neurochemistry as well as behaviour.

KEYWORDS:

sugar

PMID:
28835408
DOI:
10.1136/bjsports-2017-097971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: JJD is the author of The Salt Fix and operates the website thesaltfix.com WLW sells a supplement that contains both L-glutamine and chromium picolinate. JHO’K owns and operates a nutraceutical company.

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