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Sugar and Mental Illness
Publish date: Mar 14, 2013
Summary: Is sugar affecting our brains?
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Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says, “White refined sugar is not a food. It is pure chemical extracted from plant sources.” Many nutrition experts say that white sugar is possibly as harmful as drugs, especially in the quantities currently consumed in North America. The brain is especially affected by refined sugar.
One of the keys to orderly brain function is glutamic acid, an amino acid normally made in our bodies and found in many vegetables. It is a major neurotransmitter that plays a important role in cognitive function and memory.
In the brain, glutamic acid is stored in the synapses between the neurons, whose function is to transmit information to other cells. Glutamic acid is needed for communication between brain cells.
The production of glutamic acid is dependent upon sufficient amounts of B vitamins. B vitamins are produced by helpful bacteria in the intestines. Eating refined sugar has a domino effect that begins in the gut and reaches the brain.
When refined sugar is consumed, harmful gut bacteria thrive and the good bacteria begin to die. The helpful bacteria stop producing adequate amounts of B vitamins. An inadequate amount of B vitamins stalls the production of glutamic acid. The end result is sleepiness.
The chain reaction caused by sugar also results in a decreased ability for short-term memory function and problem solving. When refined sugar is consumed over a long period of time, the resulting chronic low level of available glutamic acid and consequent impaired glutamic acid utilization is associated with various neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, depression, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
With continued use of sugar, over time, insulin production decreases. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause mental confusion. Low insulin has also been linked with juvenile criminal behavior. Many mental ward and prison inmates are “sugarholics.” Erratic emotional outbreaks often follow a sugar binge, but stability can be achieved with appropriate dietary changes that are maintained.
Pioneers of orthomolecular psychiatry such as Dr. Abram Hoffer, Dr. Allan Cott and Dr. A. Cherkin, as well as Dr. Linus Pauling, have confirmed that mental illness is a myth and that emotional disturbance can be merely the first symptom of the obvious inability of the human system to handle the stress of sugar dependency.i
In Megavitamin B3 Therapy for Schizophrenia, author Dr. Abram Hoffer relates that schizophrenic patients usually have a dietary history rich in sweets. They are advised to restrict sucrose and sucrose-rich foods, to control their disorder.
Research with hyperactive and psychotic children, as well as children with brain injuries and learning disabilities, shows “an abnormally high family history of diabetes—that is, parents and grandparents who cannot handle sugar; an abnormally high incidence of low blood glucose, or functional hypoglycemia in the children themselves, which indicates that their systems cannot handle sugar; dependence on a high level of sugar in the diets of the very children who cannot handle it."ii
If you have any doubts about the harmful nature of refined sugar, take it out of your diet for several weeks and see if it makes a difference. If you experience some withdrawal symptoms, be assured that you are working to dethrone the tyrant that seeks to destroy you. Be determined; be informed; be victorious!
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