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To what extent does the source of the sugar matter in terms of how it impacts neuronal plasticity and other behavioral traits related to addiction? It looks like in your study, you supplied the rats with 5% sucrose laden drinking water. Do you think you would have seen similar results if the rats had been fed a fruit-based diet that is high in sucrose.
Also, I am having a hard time understanding exactly how sugary 5% sucrose water would be. What is the sucrose content of a soda, for example, by comparison?
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What about non-caloric sweeteners? It it simply the sensory experience of "sweet" or does it also require a caloric component?
Regarding your study itself, I'm curious to hear a bit about your choice to use adolescent rats. Is this effect likely to be any different at different developmental stages?
More generally, I'd be interested to know how you approach sugar consumption in your day-to-day life. It's certainly more ubiquitous that alcohol.
Would there be any merit to testing the sucrose solution with a soluble fiber like inulin to measure if the presence of an indigestible carbohydrate in any way mitigates the effect the fructose has on the brain?
Hi and thanks for joining us today!
This may be quite a reach but with countries implementing sugar taxes and seeing lowered consumption levels, do you think we might also see a correlated uptick in depression and suicide?
Can these changes be reversed by ceasing or reducing consumption? Would the brain try and replace the "soothing" with something else until the underlying traumas are dealt with?
1) What is the threshold for overconsumption?
2) Does the packaging seem to matter (e.g. fruit vs fruit juice vs candy)?
3) Could you briefly explain what lead you to your hypothesis? Is it that sugar and alcohol cause similar reactions in the brain when ingested and so you project that sugar will have similar long-term consequences?
4) Do you know if any other component of a macronutrient has been analysed like this? If so, how did it compare to sugar?
Hi there! I'll ask what I think is the most obvious follow up question.
Do you think that this similarity between sugar and alcohol is due to some specific biochemical similarity in the substances or because of similarities in the addiction mechanism, which can involve many addictions, even unrelated to "drugs" (e.g.: problematic gamblic).
Wasn't there research being done on obese people and the number of sweet taste receptors on their tongues? I've known some morbidly obese people that seemed to get more of a kick from sugar than is normal.
I agree with your hypothesis about sugar and alcohol. I think alcoholism is really an eating disorder and can be treated as such. I know from personal experience that if one eliminates sugar from their diet, you will stop craving sweets.
I have also noticed that a high protein snack alleviates cravings for sugar. What could be the mechanism for this?
Thank you- Please send us links to these studies- I would love to read them also.