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Sugar Addiction

Sugar Addiction

Research paper on sugar addiction focus on the affects of sugar on the body and what transpires when a person becomes addicted to sugar. The writers at Paper Masters will custom write any project that you need related to sugar addiction.

Sugar is one of the most universal food products worldwide. The well-known sweetener has been cultivated since ancient times, although it has only recently been cheap and plentiful enough to replace honey as the main food sweetener. Today, sugar is everywhere, and seemingly in everything. This has led to the rise of controversy, for not only is sugar bad for your teeth, and high in calories, but consumption may lead to sugar addiction.

Scientist know that eating foods high in sugar release massive amounts of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens area of the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is connected to reward motivation, while the nucleus accumbens is an area of the forebrain that is known to play a significant role in addictive behaviors. Some scientists are now arguing that sugar affects the brain in similar ways to cocaine and nicotine. By desiring the "high" that a sugar rush gives, one can develop a sugar addiction.

Many people develop sugar addiction because they see sugary foods as a reward. When thus correlated, the brain begins to desire more of that reward. Because sugar is a simple carbohydrate, it is transformed into glucose in the bloodstream, which provides quick energy to the body's cells. Excessive, long-term ingestion of sugar can not only lead to diabetes, but may also eventually decrease dopamine levels in the brain, leaving people needing more and more sugar to meet their cravings. This is a sugar addiction.

Glucose, or sugar, is the body's main fuel and is acquired by the body in the form of carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Once ingested, carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, mostly glucose, in the intestines. These sugars are drawn from the intestines into the circulating bloodstream. From the bloodstream they enter the body's cells where they are used to produce energy. Any unused glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen.

Under normal conditions, two hormones, insulin and glucagon control the amount of sugar in the blood. These are produced by the pancreas, a gland found in the upper abdomen. The pancreas is comprised of tissue that contain alpha and beta cells. When the level of sugar in the blood rises, the beta cells release insulin, which helps glucose enter the body's cells. This action lowers the level of glucose in the bloodstream, keeping it within the normal range. When the level of glucose drops too low, the alpha cells secrete glucagon, signaling the liver to release it's stores of glycogen and change them to glucose. This raises the level of blood sugar back to the normal range.

A body suffering from hypoglycemia cannot handle blood glucose the way it should. When sugar is consumed, the rise in blood sugar triggers too great an increase in insulin in the blood stream. Then the level of blood sugar is driven too low, too fast. While they may vary, the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Fatigue, dizziness, shakiness, and faintness
  • Irritability and depression
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
  • Pounding heart or palpitations
  • Constant hunger
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Blurring of vision
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea

In severe cases, an individual may lose consciousness or even lapse into a coma. ("Hypoglycemia, Life Extension")
The most common form of hypoglycemia is a complication of diabetes. Because the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is ineffective, diabetics are unable to utilize glucose as fuel. This results in high levels of sugar in the blood and depending on the severity, oral medication or insulin injections must be taken. Regulating the blood sugar level can be tricky. A skipped meal, too much exercise or an incorrect dose of medication can result in life threatening low blood sugar. Diabetics refer to this as an "insulin reaction". To avoid hypoglycemic reactions it is important that an individual with diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. It is also important that they recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and are aware of the situations that bring low blood sugar on. They should be followed closely by a physician who will assist them in developing an appropriate drug, diet and exercise regimen.

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