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Food Addiction Study: Rats prefer Sugar over Cocaine!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If you have read my blogs you will see I got off track in Dec and part of January but got back to my eating plan on 1-17-2011

1-17: Wgt 180.5
1-18: Wgt. 179.2
1-19: Wgt. 176.4
1-20: wgt. 175.4 ( My body definitely responds to not eating sugar and junk!) Thank you God.

This is a continuation of the subject about being addicted to food. It might be good to read my other blogs first before this one.

The Paragraphs below are REALLY WORTH READING. THIS helps explain what happens when we eat the sugar and processed foods.

We now see that the brain of the food addict is predisposed to respond differently to addictive foods due to dopamine receptor deficiencies and that addictive foods stimulate and increase the transmission of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. When the brain is flooded with these neurotransmitters, euphoria results leading to the compulsive pursuit of a mood change by engaging repeatedly in episodes of binge eating. Tolerance builds, increasing the frequency and amounts of the substance needed.

How do addictive food substances compare to other addictive chemicals? Addictive substances are forms of plant life which have been refined or processed in order to be ingested by drinking, eating, inhaling or injecting. The refinement process facilitates quick absorption of substances into the blood stream which effectively alters brain chemistry and changes mood by flooding the brain with the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Food addicts seek this mood change by eating refined and processed carbohydrates.
This results in short-term highs, followed by a long period of depressed feelings. In order to avoid the low, the addict eats more. The food addict eats to feel better and always feels worse due to this flooding and depleting of neurotransmitters (Sheppard, K., 2000).
As with all addictions, treatment and recovery are based upon abstinence from all addictive trigger substances. The need to abstain from addictive substances is common to both alcoholics and food addicts. Treatment of food addiction begins by introducing the concept of abstinence from addictive food substances.

Sherlyn’s comment inserted here:

Rats chose sugar over cocaine!
But could sugar really be as addictive as cocaine? The findings of Serge Ahmed, PhD, University of Bordeaux, France, a scientist who specializes in addiction research, clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. His cocaine-addicted laboratory rats consistently chose sugar over cocaine (Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin L. & Ahmed, S.H., 2007).

Studies using laboratory rats demonstrate that the characteristics of sugar addiction are similar to the binging, withdrawal and craving experienced in drug addiction. These findings further indicate that sugar is potentially as addictive because it is a substance that acts on brain circuits such as the dopamine and opioid pathways (Avena, N.M., Rada, P. & Hoebel, B.G., 2008).

The first steps of such treatment are to break the binge cycle, support through withdrawal and introduce the concept of abstinence from refined and processed foods. The next stage is to provide accurate information about the nature of food addiction—a disease that is primary, chronic, progressive and potentially fatal. The client is encouraged to identify how food addiction affected his or her life and as well as the lives of family members. Orientation to recovery support programs, relapse prevention techniques and development of an ongoing support system help to ensure continuing recovery (Sheppard, K., 1993).

We have learned that every healthy choice—whether it is physical, mental or spiritual in nature—is a good recovery choice that heals the addicted brain.

I LOVE THAT LAST LINE “……. EVERY HEALTHY CHOICE------- whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual in nature-----IS A GOOD RECOVERY CHOICE THAT HEALS THE ADDICTED BRAIN.”
Info above taken from:

I will be blogging more about all of this tomorrow.
I will talk a little about binging and also about ‘grazing’ which is what I do more than binging.

Hugs to all of you!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TERRYT55
    Thanks for the great blog........it's especially relevant for me today

    I've never tried cocaine but I'm sure I would prefer sugar! The sugar/fat combination is especially deadly for me.

    I've never been a coffee drinker but one day about three months ago I started to LOVE it. I can drink six to eight cups a day.......all with milk or cream & sugar. I think about it......I dream about it. I can't believe how quickly I "had" to have it. Today is my first day of no coffee.....just two cups of tea and 2 teaspoons of sugar. My coffee had at least 45 calories per cup.....usually more. The caffeine, sugar and fat in the milk may be the worst combination ever for me. I think I will have my hubby hide the coffee maker for a month or so. Even trying to reduce my food calories to make up for my coffee calories hasn't helped me shed any weight in the last couple of weeks.

    Sherlyn you look FANTASTIC........I looked through your pictures and the change in you is amazing. Keep up the great work.
    3188 days ago
    Yep....tis true~with a lump in my throat, and tears brimming~preparing to streak my cheeks~on I shall carry......with emoticon in my heart, appreciation GREAT~for the friendship we share, as well the ray of hope you grant, touching the lives of others~Soul Deep. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3188 days ago
    Hey Sherlyn I am finally back!
    Great blog...I hope to post on the team this weekend.
    My mom is doing very well...just over six weeks post op and she got great news, no chemo or radiation required. God is good!
    Keep posting! I got my book out again

    3189 days ago
    Congrats on the weight loss this week! You'll be back in the 160s before you know it!! Keep up the great posts!
    3189 days ago
    I too, prefer sugar to cocaine! LOL!
    3189 days ago
    Our brains are wired to LOVE sugar, so it makes it very hard to break the addiction.
    3189 days ago
    Congrats on such rapid weight loss! I am still loving and learning from these blogs! Thanks for posting!
    3189 days ago
    You go, girl! Your numbers are so impressive, but not unexpected. We KNOW how well this works. :) I'm glad this challenge has helped you git yer mojo back!
    3189 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!
    3189 days ago
    This info blows you away doesn't it!! Thanks for sharing!

    3190 days ago
  • no profile photo GWENAEL
    Thanks again for sharing this with us!

    Sugar is a killer, and so are all refined carbs!

    3190 days ago
    Great information Sherlyn, you sure have been busy. I can't believe how well your body is responding to the absence of sugar, amazing. I'm off to do my reading assignment, missed the post yesterday. emoticon
    3190 days ago
    Wow! What a fantastic article!
    3190 days ago
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