Negative Effects Of Sugar On The Brain

effects of sugar on the brain

The brain uses more energy than any other organ in the human body, and the primary source of fuel is glucose. However, what happens when your brain is exposed to a considerable amount of sugars in the regular American diet? Well, in this case, more sugar is definitely not better. In this article, we will tell you the effects of sugar on the brain.

In the brain, an excess amount of sugar reduces both self-control and cognitive skills. For some people, having some sugar arouses the craving for more. Sugar has drug-like effects in the reward middle of your brain. Experts have proposed that sweet food–along with fatty and salty foods, can produce addiction effects in the human brain—the effects like overeating, weight gain, and driving the loss of self-control.

In early humans, the stimulus helped lead them to calorie-rich foods, which allows for survival when food was limited. However, now this primitive drive contributes to the epidemics of diabetes and obesity. The neurobiochemical and behavioral characteristics of substance overeating and abuse are quite similar. The idea of food addiction is gaining ground among scientists.

Sugar’s Reward Response

In humans, high-glycemic foods have been discovered to activate fields of the brain connected to reward response and begin more severe feelings of hunger compared to low-glycemic foods. Sugar that causes the higher elevation in blood glucose produces a massive addictive drive in the brain.

Sugar Addiction

Further research on brain activity has shown proof supporting the concept that overeating alters the brain’s reward system, that additional drives overeating. (source)

This process is thought to underlie the tolerance linked with addiction. Over time, a considerable amount of the substance is required to reach the same level of reward. Research implies that overeating results in a diminished reward response and the progressively worse addiction to low-nutrient foods in salt, fat, and sugar.

What Does Sugar Do To Your Body?

Chances are you already know that consuming too much sugar can have side effects on the body. Average Americans consume about 270 calories of sugar per day, which is about 17 teaspoons per day, compared to the recommended limits of about 200 calories or 12 teaspoons a day.

Candy, sugary drinks, sweetened dairy, and baked goods are the main source of added sugar. However, even savory foods such as tomato sauce, protein bars, and bread can have sugar, creating it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. Added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be placed under a number of names like agave nectar, corn syrup, cane juice, sucrose, and palm sugar. 

It does not matter what it is called; sugar is sugar, and taking in excess amounts can negatively affect the body in several ways. So where sugar affects the body:-

  • Brain
  • Mood
  • Teeth
  • Joints
  • Skin
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Kidney
  • Sexual Health
  • Body Weight

How Sugar Impacts Memory

Excess sugar is harmful throughout the body. Even the single case of raised glucose in the bloodstream can be detrimental to the brain, resulting in deficits in memory and slowed cognitive function and attention.

Some experts suggest that taking excess amounts of sugar causes inflammation in the brain, leading to memory difficulties. (source)

A study of 2016 says that behavioral brain experts found inflammatory were already in the hippocampus of rodents fed the high sugar diet. (source)

Well, the good news is that inflammatory damage from sugar that might not be permanent.

Sugar Has Effects On Mood

Sugar also affects mood. According to the brain imaging study, in healthy young people, sugar compromises the ability to process emotions with elevated blood glucose.

Another study shows in Diabetes Care found that people with type 2 diabetes reported increased feelings of anxiety and sadness during acute hyperglycemia.

Experts also say that sugar is linked with depression. The analysis of mood and dietary consumption of 23,000 individuals enrolled in the Whitehall Ⅱ study has found that higher rates of sugar consumption were connected with the vast incidence of depression. (source)

Sugar Intake Hinders Mental Capacity

Elevated blood glucose harms the blood vessels. It is the major cause of the vascular difficulty of diabetes, leading to other problems like eyes causing retinopathy and damage to blood vessels in the brain.

Studies for long-term diabetics show growing brain damage leading to deficits in memory, cognitive functions, learning, and motor speed. Often exposure to high glucose levels decreased mental function, as higher HbA1c levels have been linked with higher brain shrinkage.

Moreover, studies show that a diet high in added sugar decreases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The brain chemical is essential for new memory learning and formation. Lower levels of BDNF are also connected to Alzheimer’s and dementia disease, according to the study in the journal Diabetologia. (source)

Final Words

The research reveals that any sugar food is dangerous to health. You can avoid the risks by providing the sweet tooth with fruit in the place of added sugars as you have read the effects of sugar on the brain, which is dangerous to the brain.

Consuming fresh fruit gives enough sweetness of sugar-laden treats with the added bonus of fruit’s fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, which curtail the surge of sugar in the bloodstream and block the adverse effects. 

Moreover, if you want to get rid of sugar consumption, then check the effective way to stop eating sugar. If you find this information, drop a comment below this section.