Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Does America Need Rehab for Sugar Addiction?

Americans may need to go into rehab for sugar addiction, according to Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist based in California.

Based on brain scans, sugar is as addictive as cocaine, and that it causes a euphoric effect that activates dopamine, the chemical that controls pleasure in the brain. Dr. Lustig shared that based on the results of his research, sugar causes heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

America eats about 1/3 pound of sugar a day, or 130 pounds a year. Although sugar consumption has gone down 40 percent since the 1970s, high fructose corn syrup consumption has gone up.

High fructose consumption, according to University of California Davis nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope, may increase risk for heart attack and stroke. Stanhope shared further that based on the results of her research, when one overindulges on sugary food and drinks, some of the fructose is converted by the liver into fat. This fat can eventually result in an increase in dangerous LDL cholesterol, which can form plaque in the arteries.

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