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Posted January 06, 2019 by Suman Vellanki, M.D. Summa Health Addiction Medicine
Most of us know that too much sugar is not good for our overall health. But what you may not know is that growing research is showing what’s bad for the body may also be bad for the brain.
A recent study published in Scientific Reports found that a group of men between 35 and 55 who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar daily from sweetened foods and beverages were more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and other common mental disorders after 5 years, compared with men with a lower daily sugar intake. In no way does this imply that excess sugar causes mental disorders in the general population; rather this was a select study which also found no similar correlation for the women who participated in the research.
The reality is that, often, consumption of high-sugar “comfort” foods can be a coping strategy for emotional distress. One might event theorize that it is the depression or other psychiatric issue that leads to the overconsumption. It is true, however, that once you begin consuming high-sugar foods, your body and brain continue to crave them, which can lead to an addiction-type cycle.
In the U.S., most adults consume roughly 22 teaspoons of sugar each day; that’s close to 400 calories of a person’s daily recommended intake going straight to sugar. The actual recommended amount of sugar is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men per day, roughly 100 calories.
Here are three different mental health concerns that could be affected by excess sugar consumption:
There is additional research linking addiction to sugar and addiction to controlled substances together. This study identified neural activity linked to food addiction; but more research on that link needs to be conducted.
Millions of Americans experience mental health issues every year. The symptoms related to these conditions can disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Summa Health Behavioral Health Institute can help you experience relief from symptoms while gathering hope for new possibilities in your life.We practice a patient-centered philosophy and are committed to meeting each patient’s mental health needs in a holistic manner. We also actively collaborate with other departments within Summa Health, like the Family Medicine Program, Internal Medicine Program, Weight Management Institute, Seniors Institute, Cancer Institute, Heart and Vascular Institute and more. For more information, call 234.867.7965.