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Fact File - Is sugar as addictive as cocaine?












A recent study performed with rats suggests that Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine.

The Lowdown

There has been speculation about the addictive nature of Oreos since 2005.

The breakdown of this recent study is as follows:

Last week, research by the Connecticut College suggested that the three main ingredients in Oreos, sugar, flour and fat, activate “pleasure centres” in the brain, via dopamine pathways.

These pleasure centres are also activated when the brain is under the influence of opiate drugs, such as cocaine or morphine.

The experiment tested the rats preference for Oreos over rice cakes, by feeding them in two distinct environments.

The researchers then injected the rats with cocaine and saline in two different environments.

The two conditions of the study were compared, and revealed that the rats spent the same amount of time in the Oreo environment as they did the cocaine environment.

So what did the study show?

Although the researchers did not directly compare Oreos and cocaine, they suggested this study may indicate the addictive nature of Oreos. By measuring the brain activity, researchers also found that Oreos stimulate the “pleasure centre” significantly more than cocaine or morphine.

Our favourite bit about this study?

Researchers observed that rats eat Oreos like humans; twisting the biscuits apart to lick the creamy, sugary centre - just like we humans do.  Clever!

Do you sometimes get food cravings when you just cannot resist a chocolate bar or a sticky bun?  Well it is possible to banish those cravings - more here.

Learn how sugar is in charge of your hormones and how your hormones drive your cravings - More here

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