This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain

When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar “hijacks the brain’s reward pathway,” neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained. And while stimulating the brain’s reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, when the reward system is activated too much and too frequently, we start to run into problems…

Consuming sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Constantly over-activating these serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of the neurotransmitter, which can contribute to symptoms of depression, according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, functional medicine expert and author of Why Isn’t My Brain Working?…

Chronically high blood sugar levels have also been linked to inflammation in the brain. And as some research has suggested, neuroinflammation may be one possible cause of depression. Teenagers may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of sugar on mood…

However, if you’re a pain patient with a deficit of dopamine and serotonin, then the surge of sugar-laden, feel-good hormones is more than welcome.  Plus, sugar is legal, and the DEA hasn’t tried to add sugar or chocolate to the drug scheduling list (yet).

6 thoughts on “This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain

  1. I am definitely a sugar addict. Chocoholic. Love white flour products. When I abstain from them I lose weight and have a lot more even mood flow. (can’t think of the words). I also lose the cravings for such very shortly after I start to abstain from them. Why am I not abstaining right now? I am thinking about trying again, but I am having a terrible fear of failure (I always fall off the wagon – but I can’t control my intake when I have them!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything in moderation. When you eat certain foods in moderation, their ingredients won’t build up in your system and you should be able to decrease the cravings for more. And if you have trouble controlling your intake, maybe you should try to keep these tempting foods out of your reach. Out of sight, out of mind.

      And dear, it’s not a failure to “fall off the wagon” — it’s called being human. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, I like your comment message (“I’ll assume you agree with me.”) Anyway, I totally understand the perspective of the sugar “high” from a dopamine/serotonin deficient perspective. I try to limit candy but really like apples and fruit and juice etc. But I also don’t judge people who do candy. I feel this way about caffeine too. A lot of people stress that it’s an addiction and it increases anxiety. However, one or two cups a day really helps my foggy, feel-good deficient brain. And those of us that experience those deficiencies really do need a boost now and then…or every day. Just like you said, everything in moderation.

    Liked by 1 person

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