Friday, June 23, 2017

Tis So Sweet

We left off somewhat abruptly with our sugar discussion, the other day. So I went scouring and ran across a blog written my Kevin Cann, with which I greatly agree. Following are some excerpts from that blog that I would like to share. You may read the entire thing on his website:

“No one will argue the fact that heroin, morphine, and pain killers are highly addictive substances.  They become addictive due to their ability to suppress pain, reduce anxiety, and can even cause us to have a higher sense of joy.  There is another opiate that most of us consume on a daily basis that may be just as addicting, and that is sugar.

Opioid receptors are located in the brain and the spinal column.  They are 7 transmembrane-spanning, G protein-coupled receptors.  They are responsible for aiding neurotransmitters and hormones, the most well-known being our endorphins.  Addictive substances work by enacting upon these receptor sites (Waldhoer, 2004).  To further understand this, let us look at heroin addiction.

Basically, heroin increases the amount of dopamine.  Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for energy, memory, and focus.  Our system has a check and balance process.  When dopamine is released, we also release GABA to counteract it.  The problem with heroin is it enacts upon the opioid receptor responsible for GABA.  This disallows GABA to do its job.  We are then left with a dopamine surge left unbalanced.  This brings about sustained energy and feelings of euphoria.  Here is a link that explains it in a little further detail and also has a chart for any visual learners,
If we are dopamine deficient, this can lead to addiction according to Kenneth Blum’s Reward Deficiency Syndrome.

High sugar foods can cause similar reactions as what we see with heroin.  Excessive amounts of sugar (as well as fat) can lead to the release of increased amounts of dopamine.  This is the same as with heroin (Avena, 2009).  Sugar also inhibits the release of GABA from pancreatic beta cells (Wang, 2005).  The pancreatic beta cells also release insulin, so this mechanism is important for a couple of reasons.  GABA being released from those pancreatic cells shows that it may play a role in regulating insulin.  Also, GABA needs to be released to balance out the dopamine.  This could lead to diabetes and weight gain.”

The bottom line is, if we eat large amounts of refined white sugar, high fructos, which is poisionous, or corn syrup - say 10 plus teaspoons a day, we may well be in more health trouble than we want. Trust me; getting that amount is not difficult; any processed product will have that much and more in it. Therefore, read your labels and try to eat less on a daily basis. I know that is what I’m seeking to do. Let’s cheer each other on to better health! Yay!