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Hedonic Substances

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Interesting take on modern affliction of addiction, by Dr Robert Lustig, endocrinologist. From the Guardian.

The pursuit of pleasure is a modern-day addiction
Robert Lustig
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/09/pursuit-of-pleasure-modern-day-addiction

Too much dopamine and not enough serotonin, the neurotransmitters of the brain’s “pleasure” and “happiness” pathways, respectively. Despite what the telly and social media say, pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains: “This feels good, I want more.” Yet too much dopamine leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains: “This feels good. I have enough. I don’t want or need any more.” Yet too little serotonin leads to depression. Ideally, both should be in optimal supply. But dopamine drives down serotonin. And chronic stress drives down both.

Too many of our “simple pleasures” have morphed into something else – a 6.5-oz soda became a 30z Big Gulp drink; an afternoon with friends gave way to 1,000 friendings on Facebook. Each of these momentary pleasures is just that – momentary. But chronic dopamine from your favourite “fix” reduces serotonin and happiness.

Our ability to perceive happiness has been sabotaged by our modern incessant quest for pleasure, which our consumer culture has made all too easy to satisfy.

Robert H Lustig is the author of The Hacking of the American Mind. He is Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and the Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco

 

He is featured in the Sept 2017 podcast of Public Health, available on iTunes from uctv.

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I have been following Dr. Lustig for many years.  I originally saw his lecture on UC TV (University of California, Television), called “Sugar: The Simple Truth”.  I enjoy watching free university lectures while doing simple tasks around the house.  Not to mention that I do not have to pay tuition!  

 

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 6:39 PM, cyclinglady said:

I have been following Dr. Lustig for many years.  I originally saw his lecture on UC TV (University of California, Television), called “Sugar: The Simple Truth”.  I enjoy watching free university lectures while doing simple tasks around the house.  Not to mention that I do not have to pay tuition!  

 

I thought I was the only one! :lol:

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