Sugar may be as damaging to the brain as extreme stress or abuse.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Brain
So go light on the sugar.
We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugar can also do to our brain.
The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those caused by extreme early life stress.
It is known that adverse experiences early in life, such as extreme stress or abuse, increase the risk of poor mental health and psychiatric disorders later in life.
The number of traumatic events (accidents; witnessing an injury; bereavement; natural disasters; physical, sexual and emotional abuse; domestic violence and being a victim of crime) a child is exposed to is associated with elevated concentrations of the major stress hormone, cortisol.
There is also evidence that childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced brain volume and that these changes may be linked to anxiety.
Reddit comment: The fact that the rats consume more calories when sugar is available is an important piece of the puzzle. It demonstrates that, even with unlimited food in both groups, the sugar group still eats more. Maybe that's a key factor in the negative effects they found. Future studies should explore just that. Science is slow. You can't answer all the questions at once.
From my own experience, I wonder if it's sugar that leads to eating more, or if it's sweetness.
Because artificial sweeteners seem to increase eating for me too.
Future studies should explore that too.