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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 08:55
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Excessive Sugar Consumption linked to Depression

Watch your Sweets: Excessive Sugar Consumption linked to Depression

https://speciality.medicaldialogues...-to-depression/

Quote:
A new study from a team of clinical psychologists at the University of Kansas suggests eating added sugars — common in so many holiday foods — can trigger metabolic, inflammatory and neurobiological processes tied to depressive illness. The work is published in the journal Medical Hypotheses.

Coupled with dwindling light in wintertime and corresponding changes in sleep patterns, high sugar consumption could result in a “perfect storm” that adversely affects mental health, according to the researchers.

“For many people, reduced sunlight exposure during the winter will throw off circadian rhythms, disrupting healthy sleep and pushing five to 10% of the population into a full-blown episode of clinical depression,” said Stephen Ilardi, KU associate professor of clinical psychology.

Ilardi, who co-authored the study with KU graduate students Daniel Reis (lead author), Michael Namekata, Erik Wing and Carina Fowler (now of Duke University), said these symptoms of “winter-onset depression” could prompt people to consume more sweets.

“One common characteristic of winter-onset depression is craving sugar,” he said. “So, we’ve got up to 30% of the population suffering from at least some symptoms of winter-onset depression, causing them to crave carbs — and now they’re constantly confronted with holiday sweets.”

Ilardi said avoidance of added dietary sugar might be especially challenging because sugar offers an initial mood boost, leading some with depressive illness to seek its temporary emotional lift.

“When we consume sweets, they act like a drug,” said the KU researcher, who also is author of “The Depression Cure” (First De Capo Press, 2009). “They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse, reducing well-being, elevating inflammation and causing weight gain.”

The investigators reached their conclusions by analyzing a wide range of research on the physiological and psychological effects of consuming added sugar, including the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a study of Spanish university graduates, and studies of Australian and Chinese soda-drinkers.

Ilardi cautioned it might be appropriate to view added sugar, at high enough levels, as physically and psychologically harmful, akin to drinking a little too much liquor.

“We have pretty good evidence that one alcoholic drink a day is safe, and it might have beneficial effect for some people,” he said. “Alcohol is basically pure calories, pure energy, non-nutritive and super toxic at high doses. Sugars are very similar. We’re learning when it comes to depression, people who optimize their diet should provide all the nutrients the brain needs and mostly avoid these potential toxins.”

The researchers found inflammation is the most important physiological effect of dietary sugar related to mental health and depressive disorder.

“A large subset of people with depression have high levels of systemic inflammation,” said Ilardi. “When we think about inflammatory disease we think about things like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis — diseases with a high level of systemic inflammation. We don’t normally think about depression being in that category, but it turns out that it really is — not for everyone who’s depressed, but for about half. We also know that inflammatory hormones can directly push the brain into a state of severe depression. So, an inflamed brain is typically a depressed brain. And added sugars have a pro-inflammatory effect on the body and brain.”

Ilardi and his collaborators also identify sugar’s impact on the microbiome as a potential contributor to depression.

“Our bodies host over 10 trillion microbes and many of them know how to hack into the brain,” Ilardi said. “The symbiotic microbial species, the beneficial microbes, basically hack the brain to enhance our well-being. They want us to thrive so they can thrive. But there are also some opportunistic species that can be thought of as more purely parasitic — they don’t have our best interest in mind at all. Many of those parasitic microbes thrive on added sugars, and they can produce chemicals that push the brain in a state of anxiety and stress and depression. They’re also highly inflammatory.”

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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 09:44
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Dodger Dodger is online now
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It is interesting that they compare sugar to alcohol as alcohol is made by the fermentation of sugar by bacteria.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 10:30
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Quote:
“When we consume sweets, they act like a drug,” said the KU researcher, who also is author of “The Depression Cure” (First De Capo Press, 2009). “They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse, reducing well-being, elevating inflammation and causing weight gain.”

Yes, I can relate to my experiences when I was feeding my carb addiction several years ago. I believe this is a form of addiction with physical/ psychological cravings along for the ride. Little boosts from sugar rushes, and the overall mood, particularly during winter's short days, contributes to the overall negative moments that exceed the brief, positive moments. I was feeding myself for those brief, positive moments that became more elusive the more I abused carbs.

The good news is that when people understand this cycle, they can choose to break it. If they choose this path, they benefit in increased mental stability and improved overall health. The key thing is to stay the course long enough to experience the positive results and thus triggering incentives for longer term positive reinforcement by maintaining this path.
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Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 10:53
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Quote:
“One common characteristic of winter-onset depression is craving sugar,” he said. “So, we’ve got up to 30% of the population suffering from at least some symptoms of winter-onset depression, causing them to crave carbs — and now they’re constantly confronted with holiday sweets.”


Well, that explains why I'm suddenly wanting nibbly things! Wheat more than sugar, but carbs is carbs. I'm sticking with my morning lamp session & vitamin D - both help. I've got more work-related stress in my life right now, so every time my anxiety says I'm hungry, I do deep breathing (I'm usually in the car & can't do anything more active than that).
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 11:14
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
Well, that explains why I'm suddenly wanting nibbly things! Wheat more than sugar, but carbs is carbs. I'm sticking with my morning lamp session & vitamin D - both help. I've got more work-related stress in my life right now, so every time my anxiety says I'm hungry, I do deep breathing (I'm usually in the car & can't do anything more active than that).

Excellent ways to manage the cravings that will surely occur.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 16:13
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
It is interesting that they compare sugar to alcohol as alcohol is made by the fermentation of sugar by bacteria.

I find that a very useful comparison.

It gets dark here by four pm so I have been going to bed earlier. I can, since I only have DH and cats who can take of each other. So when I wake up to early I at least have some sleep and is before midnight which is supposed to be the higher quality
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 16:31
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
I find that a very useful comparison.

It gets dark here by four pm so I have been going to bed earlier. I can, since I only have DH and cats who can take of each other. So when I wake up to early I at least have some sleep and is before midnight which is supposed to be the higher quality


I hope you're right about the before midnight sleep. I've been nodding off by 8 or 8:30. I'm not having as much trouble getting back to sleep if I wake at 11 or 12 - I'm guessing it's the melatonin, iodine, magnesium, or a mix of the 3. But waking at 3 is still a problem. If I have to be up at 5 (a once a week obligation) I give up. But other days I try to get some more sleep before 6. Not always successful at it. But not taking OTC sleeping pills is a plus - my brain seems more alert even when I don't get a lot of sleep. And I'm not groggy in the morning.

I've got a few more animals than just the cats, but fortunately husband can take care of them if I'm not home. Most days I take care of them by 4, or 5 at the latest (tho I don't care much for going out in the dark). Then I can conk out whenever I need to.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Dec-14-19, 18:09
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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I've been working on getting back to sleep since it makes for a loooong day. But I also have the option of gojng into work early and leave early. If it continues I might do that.

I find pregnenolone helps a lot in my case.
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