Nutrition: How sugar cravings drives – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

The gut-brain circuit drives the Craving for sugar

After the consumption of sugar in our gut sends a Signal that in the brain the increasingly Demand end-to Sweet. An American research team has now demonstrated a special connection between the gut and brain, which may explain why many people develop a craving, once you’ve taken some sugar.

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute discovered that sugar molecules activate certain Sensors in the intestine, which then send a Signal to the brain. These Sensors will strike only on sugar, and may explain how it comes to the seemingly insatiable appetite for Sweets. The results of the study were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal “Nature”.

Sugar molecules that trigger a Signal between the gut and the brain

A little bit of sugar is sufficient, in order to increase in most people, the Desire for what is sweet – whether it’s biscuits, chocolate, whipped cream or cake. A new study now shows that this Request is triggered by a signal connection between the gut and brain, which responds only to the sugar molecules. On artificial sweeteners, this pathway will not start.

An independent neurological pathway

In addition to the taste buds on the tongue, the connection between the gut and the brain is a completely separate neurological pathway. In experiments on mice, the researchers documented how the first sugar molecules, which arrive in the intestine, trigger Sensors, the signals to the brain to send, which then increase the appetite. This gut-brain pathway voters seems to be to only respond to sugar.

The gut-brain pathway, explains the long observed phenomenon

Scientists have observed for a long time that sugar exerts a unique effect on the brain. The causes for this phenomenon were considered previously but not adequately understood. In 2008, another study showed that mice sugar prefer, even if you lacked the ability to taste Sweet. The discovered pathway offers an explanation for this connection.

Sweet taste and sugar are two Pair of shoes

“We need to separate the concepts of sweet and sugar,” emphasizes neuroscientist Charles Zuker. While sweet taste reflected a predilection to resist, stand sugar’s Request for a rule of law. The study reveals the neural basis for the sugar preference.

Refined sugar can be the appetite run Amok

Sugar stands as a collective term for a whole range of fuels, which are absorbed through the food. The Signal from the intestine is enabled according to the study, the reward system of the brain and makes people feel comfortable. In today’s diet, which is characterised by refined sugar, the appetite quasi Amok.

Consumption of sugar increased ten-fold

This was reflected also in the American diets. While at the beginning of the 19th century. Century, the average annual sugar consumption per capita was around five kilograms, today it is around 50 kilograms. This increase is associated with numerous health problems such as obesity and type 2 Diabetes.

Sweetener not sugar demand breast-feeding

The Team of head of research Zuker also showed in previous studies, that artificial sweeteners don’t satisfy the Craving for sugar. The researchers gave to drink mice water with the much-used sweetener Acesulfame K was added and to the other with refined sugar. The mice were able to self-select which water you drink.

During the beginning of the two containers of the same lot has been drank, drank the mice after two days almost exclusively on the sugar water. “We concluded that this insatiable Motivation of the animal for the consumption of sugar instead of the sweet taste, could have a neural basis,” explains Zuker.

The sugar cycle between the gut and brain

In the current study, the researchers, the brain activity of the rodent ends were visible. This showed that the brain starts exclusively on sugar, but artificial sweetener. The Signal from the intestines is sent directly into the brain stem and of a Region is processed, which is independent of the taste processing.

Sent out the Signal of the intestinal mucosa and passes via the tenth cranial nerve (the vagus nerve) to the brain. Particularly strong this pathway starts at glucose and glucose like molecules. Amazingly, it seems that the signal path but not on some other types of sugar, such as fruit-derived fructose to jump.

Why the body reacts so special to glucose?

The researchers suggest that this pathway is intended to alert the organism to glucose, as a special source of energy for all living things carefully. “The discovery of this cycle helps to explain how sugar directly affects our brain in order to control the consumption,” says Zuker. In addition, the discovery will offer new approaches for strategies that could curb the appetite for sugar. (vb)