Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sweet Snacks May Slacken Stress

Sweet Snacks May Slacken Stress
Rats, like humans, love sugar. So it comes as no surprise that during two weeks of training for a recent lab experiment, the rodents queued up twice daily for small doses of sugar water. What researchers did not anticipate was the apparent effect of the sweet stuff on their stress levels: when they placed the rats in stressful circumstances at the end of those two weeks, the animals were less agitated than expected.

It turns out that naturally sweetened snacks can reduce glucocorticoid stress hormone levels in the blood. This may explain why people have nervous eating habits; their bodies are fighting the stress.

So that's a fun finding. It may relate to the obesity topic of the last post. It may also have philosophical consequences about the difference between quality of life and... quantity of life? Or perhaps it's just a neat little piece of trivia. Regardless, I think it's interesting.

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