Can sugar cause depression? Yeah, it definitely can.
Too bad nobody talks about it
Sure, people know about how sugar hurts the body, especially processed sugar, which is why they avoid deserts and the like.
Diabetes, heart problems, cholesterol and so much more.
I think we all heard about how dangerous it is to us at one point or another, and how we should avoid it whenever possible.
Almost no one knows that sugar can be just as, if not more so, dangerous to the mind as it is to the body.
Not that I can blame them!
We are all told about sweets and how bad they are to our teeth when we are young.
Then, once older, we are told about how eating sugar is bad for our diet.
Then, when we are even older than that, we are told about how we have heart problems and too much sugar in our blood.
Our knowledge, and understanding, of the damages that sugar does to us, is physical and nothing more.
In no point in our lives did we bother to ask about “extra damages” and “general side-effects”
Even if we did, we likely only got more of the same – I sure as heck did!
When faced with hardship, people tend to either look for a way out or just sink into their own troubles.
I was always persistent, and when looking into my diet as the source of my problems, I stumbled upon some very odd data that I wasn’t fully aware of up to that point.
As it turns out, sugar is heavily tied to Depression, and that decreasing your overall intake of processed sugar can lead to massive improvement in your condition.
This only raises one question: “why?”
In this article, I will do my best to answer this question!
Can Sugar Cause depression? How?
Yes, sugar can cause depression.
It doesn’t mean that it has to, though.
There really isn’t any controversy here, research suggests a high correlation between sugar and depression.
Keep in mind, there are multiple kinds of research that suggest a relation between sugar and depression, some of them even add up schizophrenia to the list.
There are multiple reasons for this, here’s to name a few
Glucose highs and lows
It doesn’t make much sense, does it?
I mean, sugar creates a certain “high” of energy, why does it lead to depression of all things?
Here’s the deal – after every “high” there must also be a “low”.
By forcing unnaturally large amounts of sugar (refined, processed or otherwise) you have created a certain “spike” of it inside your system.
But, as I have said before, after every high must also come a “low”.
After that influx of sugar, the body has to lower its levels of glucose artificially to compensate.
This also applies to the most extreme case, as Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) increases the chances of you suffering from depression
Even after regular “sugar highs” there are “sugar lows” that can cause lasting damage over time.
The worst part is that you can’t really escape from them either when you think about it.
Much of the food that we have in our daily lives contains all sorts of substances that may increase our blood sugar levels.
While you can avoid them through your diet, every once in a while an event may come up.
The kind of event that will force you to take this one slice of cake, or drink this one cup of coffee with sugar in it.Vitamin B
There is a way to balance out the effects, though, so you shouldn’t worry about it too much.
I already discussed how vitamin B (or more specifically, B-12) can help you with your depression, so what’s there more to say, really?
Well, let’s talk about sugar for a moment.
Research suggests that diabetes is heavily related to B-12 deficiency, with 22% of people who have type 2 diabetes suffering from a B-12 deficiency.
Research also shows a high correlation between type 1 diabetes and B-12 deficiency as well, there’s a very good reason for that too.
Why is that?
For one thing, Vitamin B-12 helps the body turn fats, carbohydrates, and protein into glucose (among other things).
Sugar doesn’t give you many of these to work with.
Because of that, the body “wastes” your vitamins processing food that does you no good, essentially limiting any help that the mood-boosting vitamins may provide.
Also, in the case of diabetes, some types of medicine prevent the body from absorbing the vitamins properly.
One example, in particular, would be Metformin.
Eat more protein, eat less sugar, and avoid the wrong medicine.
I am not a Doctor, but this is solid advice right there if I’ve ever seen one.
Speaking of diet, I actually wrote down a couple of foods that you should try.
Eat these instead and be sure to tell me how it worked out for you.
From an hormone-based standpoint, sugar does have a case to be made as well.
Remember how I talked about depression and schizophrenia earlier? It isn’t just a random fact or relation.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF for short, is a type of protein that is responsible for Keeping brain cells functioning and growing them alongside new neurons.
Aside from that, it also regulates glucose levels, preventing these “highs” and “lows” that are so depressive to most.
The hippocampus is a part of your brain that is responsible for memory and navigation.
Reduction in the hippocampus’s size has been reported in severe cases of depression and schizophrenia.
And what does sugar do? it lowers harms both your BDNF and your hippocampus.
Due to that reduction, your brain will struggle to regulate its levels of glucose, leading to “sugar blues” over time that you are much better off without.
Not only that but the damage that was done to your hippocampus will be directly affecting your depression.
Sure, normally it’s depression that changes the hippocampus and not the other way around, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
After all, the hippocampus is also related to emotion, something that may build up to depression even by itself.
I already talked about dieting to a degree when I mentioned Vitamin B.
As such, I won’t talk about it anymore.
I will mention that your stomach is directly related to your mood and, by extension, mental health.
Truth be told, I discussed this topic before when I talked about the effects of depression on the body, but at the risk of repeating myself, I will make the same point once more.
Your stomach, the gastrointestinal tract, relates heavily to your brain.
Think about something nasty and you will feel “nauseous”, think about delicious food whenever hungry and your stomach will call out to you.
This list actually goes on and on, but that’s not the point I am trying to make here.
The truth is that your body doesn’t like sugar very much, and it will be very vocal about its opinion.
Gastritis is a type of inflammation around the stomach area.
It leads to aches and irritation around the stomach.
Among other things, it is also caused by sugar and other refined foods (white bread, pasta and the like).
Do you remember how I said that your stomach is heavily related to your brain? Yeah…
In a recent study that included 4181 participants between the ages of 18-79, 861 of them have had a lifetime diagnosis of gastritis.
In this research, it was shown how the prevalence of depression among people who had gastritis was much higher than those who did not (20.1% VS 10.5%)
That’s more than a fifth!
This number is so crazy because your stomach isn’t happy in the slightest, and it sure as heck letting your brain know about it!
Can Sugar Cause depression? How about long-term depression?
Yes and yes, yes to both questions.
Consuming too much sugar will trigger a variety of nasty possibilities, a lot of which may very well end up leading to depression
Keep in mind, sugar isn’t going to kill you where you stand, but it can cause long-lasting damages to both your body and mind, as well as a few short-term ones.
No, instead it’s going to do much worse.
I was able to list four examples as to how it serves as a cause for depression.
I wasn’t talking about anxiety, mood swings, or any other type of mental disorder.
Not to mention that I avoided physical damages on purpose.
That’s a pretty scary thought, isn’t it?
So here’s a question for you – Roughly, how much sugar to you consume per week?
Yep, even on a weekly scale, sugar isn’t pretty, let alone white sugar.
Make sure to write your answers down in the comment section below, I go through every single one of them and I would love to hear from you!
Also, If you got any questions about my article then make sure to send me an email.
I reply to those as fast as I can!