If eating a lot of sugar releases a lot of dopamine in the brain, and APs block dopamine receptors, could there be a relation in this regard to the cravings some people experience? Like in some cases could the cravings for carbs/sweets be a response to having dopamine blocked, if the brain has figured out that sugar has caused dopamine release in the past?
Everything I’ve read about APs and cravings has been about the effects on hormones, insulin, etc but I wonder about this part.
I just noticed that yesterday when I had my sweet coffee drink and also the cheesecake slice, it seemed to make me feel “good” as in happy, where without it I was content/comfortable (so neither states are bad, really). It was also extremely satiating. I experimented again today and had a small piece of cheesecake. It’s the only thing I’ve had to eat all day and I feel full / satiated with stable energy, but also have the same sort of “happy” feeling. So I was then looking into relations of sugar and dopamine. And then I would up wondering if there is some connection between blocked D receptors and sweet cravings, like if the brain has figured it out to that extent.
The reason drugs cause sugar cravings is because they block histamine, serotonin, and dopamine receptors to release ampk in certain parts of the brain. Haldol doesn’t block serotonin or histamine receptors so it has the least weight gain but some people still report weight gain with hadol
Like drugs, sugar spikes dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Over the long term, regular sugar consumption actually changes the gene expression and availability of dopamine receptors in both the midbrain and frontal cortex. Specifically, sugar increases the concentration of a type of excitatory receptor called D1, but decreases another receptor type called D2, which is inhibitory. Regular sugar consumption also inhibits the action of the dopamine transporter, a protein which pumps dopamine out of the synapse and back into the neuron after firing.
In short, this means that repeated access to sugar over time leads to prolonged dopamine signalling, greater excitation of the brain’s reward pathways and a need for even more sugar to activate all of the midbrain dopamine receptors like before. The brain becomes tolerant to sugar – and more is needed to attain the same “sugar high.”
Yes, they could. The subconscious gravitates towards repeating behaviours that result in pleasure. However, this is an interesting “chicken/egg” situation that goes well beyond my understanding. Sugar cravings are associated with so many different biological mechanisms that to pin them on just one is a sure way to ensure they continue
Adaptagenic herbs can prove helpful in curbing sugar cravings without the associated risk of taking vitamins and minerals without actual evidence of deficiency. I mean you can overdo adaptogenic herbs too, but you’d probably have to try a lot harder to do so