Oh, those sweet, sweet white lines.
Sure, they wreak havoc on our dopamine levels and cause long-term bodily harm – and it would be easier to withdraw your tongue from a frozen metal pole than give up the rush cold turkey – but rules are meant to be broken.
No, these aren’t the thoughts of a guy in the club stall next door. This is our reality with sugar.
This parallel isn’t just hyperbole – sugar really can be just as addictive and damaging as cocaine. And while you likely won’t see any PSAs about ‘Your Brain on Sugar’ in the near future, Australian scientists recently conducted a study that led them to determine sugar should be treated as a form of drug abuse.
“[Sugar] has been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels which control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine,” said Queensland University of Technology neuroscientist Selena Bartlett.
“Like other drugs of abuse, withdrawal from chronic sucrose exposure can result in an imbalance in dopamine levels and be as difficult as going ‘cold turkey’ from them.”
More credence to the claim comes from a previous study that gave lab rats a damning choice: sugar or cocaine. And how did that turn out?
“When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine, even when you get the rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to the sugar,” said Dr James DiNicolantonio.
Just something to think about.