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The Link Between Sugar Consumption and Mental Illness Is Real

April 20, 2015

With the recent WHO decision about sugar, the topic has been in the media even more lately. Sugar is an addictive drug that made its way into households around the world and is “considered” safe. Refined sugar in excessive amounts contribute to childhood obesity, leading to a breakdown in metabolism and depression. The more the person becomes depressed, the more sugar is consumed as comfort.

The addiction is attributed to the quick energy created by increase blood glucose levels. However, every high has an equal or greater low once these glucose levels retreat, which brings lethargy and creates the cycle of low self-esteem. The elevated blood glucose levels catalyze the absorption of tryptophan through the large neutral amino acid (LNAA) complex and its subsequent conversion into the mood-elevating chemical serotonin.

Several studies have shown the devastating link between sugar consumption and mental illness, as well. In 2004, the British Journal of Psychiatry found that a higher dietary intake of refined sugar and dairy products lead to a worse 2-year outcome for schizophrenics.

A 2001 study found that rats given 25% glucose with their food showed symptoms similar to drug addiction–craving and loss of control. 

In March 2010, the American Journal of Psychiatry published a study covering women aged 20-93. Those who ate a “traditional” diet of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and whole grains had lower odds for depression, dysthymia, or anxiety disorders. Those who ate a more “westernized” diet with processed foods, fried foods, sugars, refined grains, and beer had a higher chance of developing these mental issues. 

A healthy diet is critical–processed foods, fat, and sugars are empty calories void of nutrients. Bellies may be full, but bodies and minds are starving. Because today’s food is depleted of nutritional value, supplements are a great way to ensure your body is getting the supplies it needs to fight off mental illness.

If you want to avoid sugar read your labels, there is only one sure way. Don’t buy anything unless it says in plain English: “No sugar added”.

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Posted in: Diet & Food - Tagged (5): diet, advice, food, therapy, nutrition

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