Nothing is bitter than sweet. There is a great deal of truth to this popular saying that is evident in other species as well: Sweet foods and sweeteners are addictive. Sometimes even more powerful than drugs considered hard. Specifically, studies on rats have shown that 94% of these animals prefer a specific sweet substance over cocaine and water when they only have these three options to choose from. What is that substance?
It is about sugar and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Europe is already immersed in a major health and economic crisis as a result of the increase in obesity and diabetes resulting from the consumption of this substance. In this sense, the organization predicted this “epidemic” for 2030, but the predictions were fulfilled in 2022: almost two out of three Europeans are overweight.
Whereas in the eighties of the last century, 108 million adults suffered from this metabolic disease, in 2014 there were already 422 million people with this condition, which means that in just three decades there has been a 75% increase in cases worldwide. Is.
The same is true for nicotine and heroin.
A study in laboratory rats showed that, when these animals were given a choice between being able to drink a small amount of saccharin-sweetened water by pressing a lever or activating a lever that was connected to an intravenous catheter. By way of injecting cocaine, most of all they prefer access to the sweet solution.
This effect seems to happen with other medicines as well. In another trial by the same research group, a similar result was seen with heroin. And these same authors found in a third study that when rats were given a choice between nicotine and saccharin-sweetened water, the animals preferred the latter.