How Sugar Damages Your Brain
An article published in the journal Nature claimed that sugar is a toxic substance that should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. This conclusion was based on many studies conducted on the effects of sugar in the body including how it impairs several brain functions.
1How Sugar Affects the Brain’s Nucleus Accumbens
When a person eats sugary foods there is a specific area in the brain called the nucleus accumbens that initially releases high amounts of dopamine. When a person frequently eats sugar-containing foods their dopamine receptors will start to down-regulate, resulting in fewer receptors of dopamine in the brain.
As a result, the next time that an individual eats a sugary food the effect it has in the brain is no longer as intense as it was the first time it was eaten. Therefore, the person must eat more of these sugary foods in order to experience that same level of “pleasure”.
Studies show that the effect of these sugary foods on the brain is similar to other addictive substances such as nicotine and cocaine. This explains why sugary foods causes chemical reactions in the brain that can cause intense and hard-to-resist cravings in a person.