Some Studies Suggest a Link between Sugar Cravings and Alcoholism

Some Studies Suggest a Link between Sugar Cravings and Alcoholism.

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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