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Old 06-14-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
Paul Kayley
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Default Sugar Addiction

I recently read that lots of times when people crave sugar they're lacking in protein.... is this a possibility....can anyone give more detail on this???
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:38 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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I would guess the craving has a direct relation to the coming down of insulin/blood sugar and low glucagon levels....as with high protein meals elicit a high glucagon response.....if glucagon is low (and not hormonally ready to burn fat as a fuel) then the body needs a source for fuel and signals the brain to crave glucose.....dunno but just a theory....
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:08 AM   #3
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I would guess the craving has a direct relation to the coming down of insulin/blood sugar and low glucagon levels....as with high protein meals elicit a high glucagon response.....if glucagon is low (and not hormonally ready to burn fat as a fuel) then the body needs a source for fuel and signals the brain to crave glucose.....dunno but just a theory....
I'm guessing you got this from reading NHE by Rob Faigan.... its something which was observed in rats, however it does not carry over to humans.... high blood protein levels has the opposite effect of raising insulin and lowering glucagon in humans!

I am wondering if there is something more profound going on, if its true, say a neurotransmitter effect resulting from low amino acid levels??
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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I'm guessing you got this from reading NHE by Rob Faigan.... its something which was observed in rats, however it does not carry over to humans.... high blood protein levels has the opposite effect of raising insulin and lowering glucagon in humans!

I am wondering if there is something more profound going on, if its true, say a neurotransmitter effect resulting from low amino acid levels??
Honestly no idea where I got the idea....just tried to examine at what points I do crave sugar....usually when not eating 4-5 hours after the last meal or after exercise...or when eating a higher % of carbs during my meals (not often). But I do not crave sugar in the AM if I do not eat before bed therefore having low insulin and a high GH response...but if I eat before bed I am craving food when I wake up....so high GH = muscle sparing hormonal response....low GH = muscle wasting and low blood sugar.

It was my impression that protein raises glucagon first.....although I guess depends on what level one considers a high protein meal...20g? 30g? 60g?

Either way I agree there is a direct correlation between cravings and amino acid levels and their corresponding hormonal responses...another guess is glucogenesis when blood amino acids are high do not elicit cravings but in the presence of low aminos and glucagon the body craves suagr....that's about as smart as I get.....
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:42 AM   #5
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I've read about serotonin and dopamine levels being factors related to sugar cravings....

Very interesting observation you note regarding your appetite in the morning if you ate prior to bed! I find the same to be true.

There is research indicating that the nocturnal GH release is not as sensitive to blood sugar levels as it is during the waking hours. Personally, I believe that going to bed slightly hungry results in superior quality sleep, and as you say, less a.m. sugar cravings.

Also, ironically I find that I only really crave sugars when in a well fed state, when out of training for a day or so, with well stocked glycogen stores!!
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:51 PM   #6
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I know that I've seen research detailing increases in seratonin levels following ingestion of simple sugars, but can't recall specifics. I just looked around a bit and couldn't find the specific article I'm thinking of, but I'll look a bit harder.

As I recall, it was dealing more specifically with mood (depression) and the effects of diet (part of a larger review of lit dealing with effects of exercise on depression and mood state). The example they used was white bread and jelly, btw.

mmmmm....jelly sandwich.....
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:23 PM   #7
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In "Lights Out" (reading it now) he makes an interesting observation based on the seasonal cycles. Simply we are adapted for periods of eating lots of sugar during the long summer days.....and then living off the stored fat for the winter. Now with lack of sleep and long "simulated" days with artificial lighting our body thinks we are in that summer eat as much as you can sugar stage....and we never get to hibernate and use that fat for energy. So hence melatonin and other hormones do have a direct impact on cravings. Not too mention that those cravings were supposed to be in times when the carb/sugar supply was limited so we really couldnt put on too much weight....but nowadays with unlimited sugar we never reach the ending point. That and until our body senses the changes in seasons from the long days of summer to the shortened winter, it will not shut off the cravings (through leptin).

Interesting theory none the less.....as it makes sense that I usually crave more the later I stay up....aka why I also may eat 15 Krystal burgers on a Sun 4am run after a night out.....or at least that was the case in my younger crazier years..
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:06 PM   #8
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Interesting theory none the less.....as it makes sense that I usually crave more the later I stay up....aka why I also may eat 15 Krystal burgers on a Sun 4am run after a night out.....or at least that was the case in my younger crazier years..
Uhm I am pretty confident that you were actually practicing alcohol absorption with gross consumption of greasy protein / carbohydrates. I should know as I have had many similar late night trips.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:26 PM   #9
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I think Derek's offering are the most sound in this...but do think the sugar craving is a sign of insulin resistance. Not being able to access bodyfat for energy.

This is one of those weird "AHA" momnnets when I starting researching intermittent fasting. Even a protein/fat meal produces some insulin release. What if we are designed to run optimally with NO insulin release for long periods of time? I experienced a dramatic improvement in blood sugar mood going to a low carb diet back in '99-2000 but even that started to not work as well after a number of years eating 5-7 meals per day.

So Paul, I think it's an issue of insulin resistance, not any overt protein deficiency.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:15 PM   #10
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I think Derek's offering are the most sound in this...but do think the sugar craving is a sign of insulin resistance. Not being able to access bodyfat for energy.

This is one of those weird "AHA" momnnets when I starting researching intermittent fasting. Even a protein/fat meal produces some insulin release. What if we are designed to run optimally with NO insulin release for long periods of time? I experienced a dramatic improvement in blood sugar mood going to a low carb diet back in '99-2000 but even that started to not work as well after a number of years eating 5-7 meals per day.

So Paul, I think it's an issue of insulin resistance, not any overt protein deficiency.
What? I give a whole thing from Lights Out and Robb doesnt even back it?? Wow....I am so dissillusioned right now....up is down....black is red....
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