Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sweet Snacks Could Be Best Medicine For Stress

Date:
November 28, 2005
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that eating or drinking sweets may decrease the production of the stress-related hormone glucocorticoid -- which has been linked to obesity and decreased immune response.

Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, PhD, and James Herman, PhD.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that eating or drinking sweets may decrease the production of the stress-related hormone glucocorticoid--which has been linked to obesity and decreased immune response.

Related Articles


"Glucocorticoids are produced when psychological or physical stressors activate a part of the brain called the 'stress axis,'" said Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry. "These hormones help an individual survive and recover from stress, but have been linked to increased abdominal obesity and decreased immune function when produced in large amounts.

"Finding another way to affect the body's response to stress and limit glucocorticoid production could alleviate some of these dangerous health effects."

The laboratory findings were presented during a poster session Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ulrich-Lai and a team of researchers from the department of psychiatry showed that when laboratory rats chose to eat or drink sweet snacks their bodies produced lower levels of glucocorticoid.

She said that sweets--especially those made from sugar, not artificial sweetener--might do the trick.

"The sweets we are talking about are not the low-calorie, sugar-substitute variety," said Dr. Ulrich-Lai. "We actually found that sugar snacks, not artificially sweetened snacks, are better 'self-medications' for the two most common types of stress--psychological and physical."

Psychological stress could involve things such as public speaking, being threatened, or coping with the death of a loved one. Examples of physical stress are injury, illness, or prolonged exposure to cold.

During the study, researchers gave adult male rats free access to food and water and also offered them a small amount of sugar drink, artificially sweetened drink, or water twice a day. After two weeks, the rats were given a physical and psychological stress challenge. Following both types of stress, rats that had consumed the sugar drink had lower glucocorticoid levels than those that drank the water. Those drinking the artificially sweetened drink showed only slightly reduced glucocorticoid levels.

Dr. Ulrich-Lai noted that although her team was not studying the health effects of the sweetened drinks, they did not notice a body-weight increase in the rats consuming the sugar drinks.

James Herman, PhD, co-author, professor and stress neurobiologist in the department of psychiatry, said the next step will be to determine how these sweetened drinks are decreasing glucocorticoid production.

"We need to find out if there are certain parts of the brain that control the response to stress, then determine if the function of these brain regions are changed by sugar snacking," he said.

###

Co-authors also included Dennis Choi and Michelle Ostrander, PhD, both of UC's psychiatry department.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Sweet Snacks Could Be Best Medicine For Stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128011306.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2005, November 28). Sweet Snacks Could Be Best Medicine For Stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128011306.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Sweet Snacks Could Be Best Medicine For Stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128011306.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins