Sugar Sugar by The Archies (I identify with the dog.)
In my last post I speculated on how Coca Cola had managed the transition from being able to addict its customers with Cocaine to finding another way to create addicted customers after Cocaine became illegal. It turns out that a heavy dose of sugar (or Saccharine, or especially High Fructose Corn Syrup) does the trick quite well. In fact, lab animals have been shown to PREFER sugar to Cocaine, as you’ll see in the research article below. So all that the Coca Cola Company had to do was to load its products with extraordinary amounts of sugar – far beyond what it would take to simply sweeten a drink – and they were able to achieve the same results – consumer addiction – as they previously had with Cocaine. Pure evil genius.
Also, one of my points in that last post was that I think it’s very likely that the Coca Cola Company has also been creating bio-engineered chemicals similar to the “Smoker Satisfaction Chemicals” used by the cigarette industry to ensure brand loyalty among smokers. I still think that is probably the case, although we’ll probably never know.
However, since it turns out that Sugar does the addiction trick so well, those exotic chemicals may be reserved for the Coca Cola Company brands like “Zero” that don’t depend on sugar for their addictive properties. After all if a business model based on consumer addiction has gained you top dog status in the global corporate hierarchy, and if diet fads prompt you to introduce new brands that are “sugar-free”, you’re not going to abandon that gloriously profitable business model, right? So if you’re not using sugar you have to addict your diet-conscious customer some other way. I mean, why abandon a business model that has worked for over 100 years just to pursue a new market segment?
Sugar-free, but still addictive. Better business through chemistry.
Am I another natural food nut going crazy over a little harmless sweetener in Coca Cola whether its sugar, or saccharine, or some bio-engineered substance that nobody has ever heard of? I admit it, I am pretty much of a natural food nut, but after you check out the research paper and the NY Times Op Ed quote below, then tell me that Coca Cola isn’t as addictive today as it was when it was a Cocaine cocktail in 1900.
PLoS ONE. 2007; 2(8): e698.
Published online Aug 1, 2007. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000698
Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward
Magalie Lenoir, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, and Serge H. Ahmed
Refined sugars (e.g., sucrose, fructose) were absent in the diet of most people until very recently in human history. Today overconsumption of diets rich in sugars contributes together with other factors to drive the current obesity epidemic. Overconsumption of sugar-dense foods or beverages is initially motivated by the pleasure of sweet taste and is often compared to drug addiction. Though there are many biological commonalities between sweetened diets and drugs of abuse, the addictive potential of the former relative to the latter is currently unknown.
Here we report that when rats were allowed to choose mutually-exclusively between water sweetened with saccharin–an intense calorie-free sweetener–and intravenous cocaine–a highly addictive and harmful substance–the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin. The preference for saccharin was not attributable to its unnatural ability to induce sweetness without calories because the same preference was also observed with sucrose, a natural sugar. Finally, the preference for saccharin was not surmountable by increasing doses of cocaine and was observed despite either cocaine intoxication, sensitization or intake escalation–the latter being a hallmark of drug addiction.
Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.
NY Times, Dec. 22, 2014
Sugar Season. It’s Everywhere, and Addictive.
By James J. DiNicolantonio And Sean C. Lucan,
(Excerpt from the original article) “Sugar stimulates brain pathways just as an opioid (sic) would, and sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people. Cravings induced by sugar are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine. And although other food components may also be pleasurable, sugar may be uniquely addictive in the food world. For instance, functional M.R.I. tests involving milkshakes demonstrate that it’s the sugar, not the fat, that people crave. Sugar is added to foods by an industry whose goal is to engineer products to be as irresistible and addictive as possible. How can we kick this habit? One route is to make foods and drinks with added sugar more expensive, through higher taxes. Another would be to remove sugar-sweetened beverages from places like schools and hospitals or to regulate sugar-added products just as we do alcohol and tobacco, for instance, by putting restrictions on advertising and by slapping on warning labels.”
Of course very little of this information about Sugar is new. My old friend Bill Dufty, who died in 2002, wrote what was the definitive book of its time entitled “Sugar Blues”. Bill was the husband of Gloria Swanson, the cinematic superstar who risked ridicule by being among the first to publicly condemn the industrial food and drink industry that was picking up steam in the 1950s. The powerful industrial food, tobacco and Pig Pharma industries even then virtually owned the media and whenever anyone stuck their head up to speak truth to their power they unleashed a hoard of lapdogs in white coats to condemn such a person as a pathetic do-gooder who knows nothing of real science and medicine.
Those of us who know better now have the platform of the Internet available as a tool for countering the massive power of these life-crushing industries. We understand the explicit evil behind the non-stop manipulative advertising and “news” that these industries inflict on the brainwashed public, not to mention their carefully designed and tested products that addict, sicken and ultimately kill hundreds of millions of people worldwide while generating the maximum per-unit profit and also while addicting new generations of children to step into the market as their parents and grandparents are falling dead.
Even though we have the marvelous internet as a forum it may simply be too late – too many people too well brainwashed and rendered stupid at a level that can’t be fixed. When I read interviews with people lined up outside theaters to see “The Interview” who say they are standing up for freedom by doing so, I have to close my eyes and count very slowly to ten before I can resume work with even the most vague hope that my work will make a positive difference in this dumbed-down world.
That said, dear reader, thank you for staying with me through what I know sometimes seems like a rant. I do try to keep it toned down but every once in a while my rage against the machine just can’t be contained.