Some Studies Suggest a Link between Sugar Cravings and Alcoholism


From caloriecount.about.com:

ARTICLE: Does a Sweet Tooth Mean Alcoholism?

An affinity for sweets appears to be a marker for those at risk of developing alcoholism. This could be because both sugar and alcohol affect the same pleasure area of the brain. 
By:Colin Allen 

Sugar-addicts beware; an affinity for sweets appears to be a marker for those at risk of developing alcoholism. While previous studies have found a sugar-alcohol link in both humans and animals, this study finds that sugar addiction may predict alcoholism. 

Lead author Alexei Kampov-Polevoy, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, recruited 163 college-age social drinkers. Half of the participants had a paternal history of alcoholism while the other half did not. 

Kampov and colleagues asked each participant to rate a series of sugar solutions that increased in concentration. They judged each for sweetness and palatability. Our hedonic reaction — how much we enjoy sugar — is something we are born with, not something we learn later in life, notes Kampov. 

Participants with a paternal history of alcoholism were 2.5 times more likely to enjoy sweets. Also, they were more likely to dislike the most diluted sugar solutions. Kampov suggests that the opioid system — the part of the brain impacted by both sugar and alcohol — is oversensitive in these subjects. 

Researchers say in the future a simple test may help identify who is at risk for developing alcoholism long before one takes his first drink. The study was published inAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

REFERENCE: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-2 0031120-000003.html 

 

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2 thoughts on “Some Studies Suggest a Link between Sugar Cravings and Alcoholism

  1. OK, I don’t know about any of you out there, but I find this study to be quite groundbreaking when it comes to understanding the ADDICTIVE properties of sugar. I am also really tired of my family telling me how to lose weight when I have already lost ten pounds. Yes, I know calories still count! It’s just so much easier to keep those calories lower when you’re not pounding sweets! “Moderation” isn’t always obtainable until abstinence is established. For sugar addicts, it may never be realistic, but I keep hoping.

  2. And, Yes, I have to be careful with alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic, and my mom went through it for quite some time, too.

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