Lack of food can increase anger levels

A person's anger levels can be significantly affected by the amount of food they consume, new findings have suggested. Research published in the journal Biological Psychiatry noted fluctuations of serotonin in the brain - which can occur when someone becomes hungry - affects the regulation of their anger.

Investigators at the University of Cambridge - which boasts 31 colleges and more than 150 other departments - said the findings show why some individuals are more aggressive than others.

Dr Molly Crocket, who worked on the study while a PhD student at Cambridge's Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, said that although serotonin's role in such behaviour has been known for some time, "it's only very recently that we've had the technology to look into the brain and examine just how serotonin helps us regulate our emotional impulses".

Information regarding this mechanism has been extracted thanks to the combination of previous research and new technology, Dr Crockett added.

Dr Saima Latif, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Individuals who have a tendency to eat foods which contain a large number of refined sugars are likely to be affected when they cannot obtain sweetened foods. 

"Their emotions and behaviours are likely to be affected. In the absence of sugar, the individual is likely to experience a state of withdrawal. 

"The limbic system part of the brain that modulates emotions and behaviours no longer reacts clearly and this may lead to frustration, irritability and angry feelings. 

"It is more sensible to naturally decrease sugar intake and eat in moderation those foods which have a high number of refined sugars in order to gain more control over emotions and behaviours."

 

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