Carbohydrates – There’s nothing quite like them!

June 24 2014No Commented

Categorized Under: Health food nutrition, Healthy eating, In the News

I read a report in the NZ Herald about a study done by Dr Nick Gant’s team at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, which looked at the effect of carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners on brain activity, when sprayed into the mouth.

Using a unique brain imaging sequence,  it tested the behavioural and neural response of 10 participants doing arm exercises, while carbohydrates, an artificial sweetener or a placebo were rinsed in their mouth.

This is what Nicks team discovered.  They found that when the carbohydrate solution was sprayed in their mouths, there was a 30% increase in task-related brain activity, even though the liquid wasn’t swallowed.

What this study showed them was yet further evidence of a sixth taste sense for carbohydrates via receptors in the human mouth.  They said “the mouth signals that energy is on its was, which in turn leads to increased activity in key regions of the brain – including those that control movement and vision”.  Dr Gant said “Carbohydrates are extremely powerful oral stimuli that have profound and Immediate effects on the brain”  He goes on to say “The mouth is a more capable sensory organ than we currently appreciate”.

He said that the findings of the study could also explain why people get an immediate energy boost from carbohydrate based drinks, even though the body hasn’t had time to absorb and convert it to energy.

It could also explain why the drinks sweetened with an artificial sweetener don’t give this same hit, with many people feeling “let down” after consuming them.

You cant fool the human body when it comes to carbohydrates

Here is the report here


Leanne James
Naturopath and Founder
Ideal Health

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