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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 the intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet taste. 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 taste.
The supernormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a super normal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.
Citation; Lenoir M, Serre F. Cantin L, Ahmed SH (2007) Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLoS ONE 2(8): e698. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000698