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White Poison – a pure addiction. What have Polish scientists discovered about sugar?

It has been known for a long time that sugar is one of the highly addictive substances. It is even assumed that sugar addiction is as strong as those to drugs. Polish scientists decided to look into the issue and thoroughly study the whole mechanism.

Scientists from the Center for Research on Neural Plasticity and Brain Diseases BRAINCITY, operating within the Marcel Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, presented nearly 400 structures in the brain activated by sugar and cocaine. The subjects of the study were mice that were given sweet water to drink or were injected with the drug. The results of the study are published in Translational Psychiatry. What are the results of the experiment?

As it turns out, supplying the body with sugar and cocaine causes activation of similar brain structures. Based on the results of the study, we are also able to determine the strong response of the brain to food containing sugar – and therefore very caloric. Sugar consumption stimulates two stimuli – the reward response and the addictive response. The researchers noted that even a single intake of sugar causes a strong response in the body.

Will this awareness impact the eating habits of Poles? Due to the growing awareness in society about healthy eating and its influence on mental and physical health, these research findings may also be pivotal for the Polish food market.


  1. Whole-brain tracking of cocaine and sugar rewards processing – PubMed (
  2. Cukier jak narkotyk? Polscy naukowcy zbadali mechanizm uzależnienia – Puls Medycyny –
Bartosz Nyga
Written by:

Bartosz Nyga

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