Recent studies of the effects of sugars on brain systems involved in energy balance and reward: Relevance to low calorie sweeteners

Susan Murray, Alastair Tulloch, Kristen Criscitelli, Nicole M. Avena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The alarmingly high rates of overweight and obesity pose a serious global health threat. Numerous factors can result in weight gain, one of which is excess consumption of caloric sweeteners. In an effort to aid weight loss efforts, many people have switched from caloric sweeteners to low calorie sweeteners, which provide sweet taste without the accompanying calories. In this review, we present an overview of the animal literature produced in the last 5 years highlighting the effects of sugar consumption on neural pathways involved in energy balance regulation and reward processing. We also examine the latest evidence that is beginning to elucidate the effects of low calorie sweeteners on these neural pathways, as well as how homeostatic and hedonic systems interact in response to, or to influence, sugar consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume164
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Dopamine
  • Glucose
  • Low calorie sweeteners
  • Rats
  • Reward
  • Sucrose

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