Sugar intake may be linked to aggression and poor mental health

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A new study has linked high sugar intake to aggressive behaviour and poor mental health. 

Researchers from the University of Colorado suggest that the increase in people being diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder and aggression are associated with consuming fructose. 

They have also discovered that it may be down to evolution that humans have developed an addiction to sugar over the years. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about intuitive eating, plus 7 great habits to consider adopting

The lead author of the study says that fructose, which is a component of sugar, tricks the body into thinking that it's starving by lowering energy in cells and triggers a foraging response. 

This can result in people indulging more freely in risk-taking, impulsivity, rapid decision-making and aggressiveness as they are seeking out food - specifically sugar - as a means of survival. 

READ MORE: We tried Victoria Beckham's R100-a-loaf breakfast bread and here’s why we’ll probably stick to our regular R16 loaves

Too much of this behaviour caused by excess sugar intake may cause ADHD, mental health problems and violence. Researchers, however, do not blame aggressive behaviour on sugar but rather note it may be one contributor. 

They urge for more research into the risk factors of sugar and fructose metabolism. 

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

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