Understanding Addiction To Sweetness
Importance of the research: the goal of the three articles is to understand the role of sweetness as the #1 cause of obesity. The research will also determine if sweeteners are a true solution or if they only lead to gaining more weight. Is it possible we're being misled and the FDA is turning a blind eye?
- 1: Understanding addiction to sweetness
- 2: The harm of sweeteners’ fillers
- 3: All sweeteners compared – which is best for weight reduction?
- 4: Are sweeteners healthy or damaging?
Author: Don Karl Juravin has helped 90,000 morbidly obese people to achieve a healthy weight. He is the inventor of the “gastric bypass ALTERNATIVE” which is awaiting clinical test results before going back on the market. The average user of Juravin’s invention needed to lose about 130 lbs. And so over a 10 year period, Juravin‘s Facebook group, with 90,000 members, became the most successful weight loss group on the web with the highest weight loss success rate.
What are sugars?
Sugar is the common name for a simple, short chained carbohydrates, consisting essentially of sucrose. It is used to sweeten food and beverages.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates, the natural and biological molecules, contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (Cm(H2O)n). Scientists have classified them as:
- Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates and are often called ‘single sugars’. They are the building blocks from which all bigger carbohydrates are made. E.g. Glucose, fructose, and ribose.
- Disaccharides: Disaccharides contain two monosaccharides linked via a chemical bond. E.g. Sucrose (table sugar) and lactose.
- Oligosaccharides: Oligosaccharides contain 3 to 9 monosaccharides linked via chemical bonds. E.g. Maltodextrin.
- Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides contain 10 or more monosaccharides linked via chemical bonds. E.g. Starch, cellulose and pectin.
What is sweetness?
- A pleasant taste, characteristic of sugar or honey, describes the taste of sweetness. The Sweetness Perception Rating scores different levels of sweetness. According to Juravin, sugars and sweeteners have varying levels of sweetness. While various chemicals and plants produce a sweet taste, sugars are the main biological and chemical molecules associated with sweetness. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars and produce a sweet taste.
- A sweet substance produces sweetness when it reacts chemically with taste receptor cells located on taste buds in the oral cavity, mostly on the tongue. The tongue has 5 different taste receptors. One of them is for sweet tastes.
Sweetness Perception Rating
- Scientists rate sweetness perception on a scale used to determine the sweetness of a substance. Sucrose (table sugar) is the reference most commonly used. In order to rate based on intensity and pleasantness, scientists compare the sweetness of every substance or chemical with the sweetness of sucrose.
- The reference value of sucrose is set to be 1 or 100.
- Fructose has a value of 1.2 to 1.7 or 120 to 170, which means fructose is 120% to 170% sweeter than sucrose.
- Juravin discovered that glucose and dextrose have 0.7 to 0.8 relative sweetness. Therefore they are 70% to 80% sweeter compared to sucrose (Fontvieille 1989, The Canadian Sugar Institute 2016).
White and brown sugar
Sucrose (aka table sugar) is a crystalline tabletop and industrial sweetener used in foods and beverages. 1 teaspoon (~4g) of sugar = 16 calories, or 1g of sugar = 4 calories.
Source: (Yang 2010)
The difference between white and brown sugar
- Both white and brown sugar are sweet granules derived from the sugarcane plant. Sugarcane juice is extracted and boiled until molasses-rich sugar crystals form. These crystals are spun rapidly to remove the molasses.
- White sugar has all molasses removed and is considered ‘pure’, whereas brown sugar is 96% pure (4% molasses) and is considered ‘raw’ (The Sugar Association 2016).
- Both white and brown sugar contain 4 calories per gram or 16 calories per teaspoon.
History of sugar
Juravin‘s research revealed when sugar was first discovered (1099 AD), it was extremely expensive and considered ‘white gold’. Now, technology advanced sugar to be a cheap commodity no longer reserved for only the rich.
Functions of sugar
- Sugar performs a variety of functions in food products, in addition to providing a sweet taste and flavor (Canadian Sugar Institute 2016):
- Preservative: Jams and jellies
- Inhibits the growth of microorganisms: Jams and jellies
- Holds moisture and prevents staleness: Baked goods such as cakes
- Enhances texture and color: Canned fruits and vegetables
- Prevents ice crystal formation: Frozen sweet mixtures such as ice creams
- Supports fermentation: Products containing yeast such as bread.
Sugar (sucrose) interactions with the brain
Consumption of sugar activates brain reward pathways, promoting food cravings and consumption.
- Sugar recruits a distributed pathway within the brain. The pathway associates with a rise in dopamine. This rise prioritizes energy-seeking over taste quality, which results in the promotion of food consumption (Tellez 2016).
- Glucose increases food-seeking behavior through sweet-tasting mechanisms in the mouth and gut as well as glucose-sensing mechanisms in the gut (Ochoa 2015).
- The same form of sugar, glucose, impacts both brain reward regions and eating behavior directly by entering the brain. It impacts them indirectly through peripheral neural input. Oral and intestinal sweet-tasting/sugar-sensing mechanisms also indirectly impact the brain. (Ochoa 2015).
Different effects of different sugars on the brain
Equal parts of fructose and glucose compose sugar. Juravin determined that almost all sugars and sweeteners activate the brain reward system, but to different extents. For instance, fructose consumption is accompanied by a higher activity rising in the brain reward system and less satiety inducing. Glucose, saccharin, and sucralose have a similar effect, to a lesser extent.
- Sweeteners and sugars stimulate brain reward pathways because of their sweetness intensity, not caloric value (Lenoir 2006).
- Glucose and fructose ingestion differentially modulate the release of satiation hormones (Wölnerhanssen 2015). Fructose provides less satiating effects than glucose.
- Relative to fructose, glucose ingestion induces greater elevations in plasma glucose (by ~1.3 to 1.4 times) and insulin (by ~3 times), increasing feelings of fullness and decreasing consequent food consumption (Wölnerhanssen 2015, Page 2013). Furthermore, fructose causes higher increases in the activity of brain regions within the limbic network involved in reward behavior in comparison to glucose (Wölnerhanssen 2015).
- Different sugars affect control of intake differently. For instance, while fructose results in doubling of blood triglycerides, glucose intake upregulates 7 and affects 6 satiety-related hypothalamic peptides (Colley 2015) resulting in an increased sense of satiety after glucose intake compared to fructose.
Further Evil Effects of Sugar
- Glucose and fructose intake increase dopamine in brain reward regions (Dela Cruz 2015). This results in an increased desire for more foods, especially carbohydrates.
- Fructose ingestion results in higher brain reactivity to food cues, more hunger, and desire for food and smaller increases in plasma insulin in comparison to glucose ingestion, resulting in more promotion of feeding behavior after fructose ingestion (Luo 2015).
- In addition, Fructose consumption reduces blood flow in the hypothalamus, but less in comparison to glucose consumption, resulting in less hunger suppression (Page 2013).
- Higher fructose to glucose ratio in foods enhances the reinforcing effects of sugar. It also leads to neurobiological and physiological alterations associated with the higher desire to food intake (Levy 2016).
- Sugar bingeing is higher after consumption of fructose in comparison to glucose and sucrose (Rorabaugh 2015).
- Saccharin causes lower rises in dopamine metabolites of the brain in comparison to other carbohydrates indicating less rewarding properties of saccharin compared to other sugars (McCutcheon 2012, Blackburn 1986).
- Sucralose causes lower activation of brain regions involved in reward and lower dopamine rise in comparison to sucrose (Frank 2008).
Sugars’ effects on weight
- If an individual were to consume 5 beverages with high volumes of sugar daily, this would be an additional 212 calories per day, or 77, 380 calories per year. The human body would gain of ~10 kg (~22 lbs) per year.
- Sugar is highly addictive and increases cravings, resulting in increased food intake and weight gain.