Have you heard about the rats, who found sugar or saccharin more tantalizing than cocaine?
In this study, most of the critters studied — a whopping 94 percent — wanted sugar or saccharin, NOT cocaine.
Recently, while planning my upcoming Crush Your Cravings Boot Camp, I was reminded of a fascinating study from Dr. Serge Ahmed, a scientist with the University of Bordeaux in France.
Back in 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting Serge while taking a ferry to a Food Addiction conference on IslandWood in Bainbridge Island, where I had the honor to give fitness guru Jack LaLanne a Lifetime Achievement Award.
I invite you now to “eavesdrop” on my fascinating conversation with Dr. Serge Ahmed. Instead of practicing my rusty French, I asked Serge in English so I wouldn’t miss anything about his sugar addiction research.
Just imagine Serge speaking with his adorable French accent.
He told me, “Connie, I was so surprised. We discovered that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine.”
You had to see Serge’s face to get a sense of this monumental discovery.
His eyebrows lifted. His eyes grew big. His face registered shock. He moved his hands about dramatically.
The next day, at the conference, Serge laid out his findings in more detail to the attendees of this event about Food Addiction: The Obesity Epidemic Connection.”
The title of Serge’s presentation told it all. It posed the question, “Is Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine?”
Ultimately, Serge and his research team discovered that intense sweetness “is much more rewarding and probably more addictive than intravenous cocaine.”
Or, to put it another way, the French scientists’ findings “clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and drug-addicted individuals.”
In the booklet presented to Food Addiction conference attendees, Serge concludes: “When society finally discovers that refined sugar is just another white powder, along with pure cocaine, it will change its mind and attitude toward refined food addiction.”
At the same conference, I also had the pleasure of meeting renowned addiction researcher Dr. Bartley Hoebel of Princeton University’s Neuroscience Institute, whose work I mentioned in an AOL News story about Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Garlin kicking sugar. What a treat!
As I discussed in my book Sugar Shock, Dr. Hoebel — who has been studying sugar addiction for 10 years — found that sugar can act on the brain in ways similar to drugs of abuse.
Dr. Hoebel’s rats even went into withdrawal symptoms within a half hour of being administered the opiate blocker naloxone.
Their “teeth started chattering,” Dr. Hoebel told me.
“They waved their heads back and forth. Their forepaws quivered. They acted anxious in a maze test. These are all signs of sugar withdrawal. They weren’t as pronounced as what we see with morphine, but it was withdrawal.”
What happened? Well, Dr. Hoebel thinks that “sugar triggered production of the brain’s natural opiates or morphinelike compounds.”
Wait a minute!
But the rats didn’t have drugs. They just had sugar!
The rats would rather go into sugar shock than have cocaine!
So why am I bringing up these addiction studies?
Because, if you have an overpowering sugar habit, I want you to know that this addictive feeling is NOT all in your head. You actually can get hooked.
But more importantly, I’m here to bring you hope. You CAN cut out your pesky sugar or carb cravings.
Alas, back in 1998, I used to be like those sugar-clamoring rats.
Thankfully, that’s history, and I no longer crave sugary foods. You heard me right. I do NOT miss the sweet substance. Honest!
So, my mission these days is to show you that you can achieve Sugar Liberation.
Just think: When you remove sugar from your diet (or at least cut back on your intake), you will get benefits galore! For instance:
- Your weig*ht could easily peel off
- You could become more cheerful
- You may concentrate better
- You may say bye-bye to severe PMS, infertility or a horrible menopause.
- You could get along better with loved ones.
- You could have a revved-up libido.
- You may have lots of energy — more so than you’ve had in years.
- And more.
And those are just a few of the many benefits!
Please join us on Cravings-Crushing Mondays, where you’ll get easy, juicy tactics or tidbits or valuable insights, which will guide you to Sugar Liberation.
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