Sugary snacks ease pain of overeating on festivals

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2011, 09:28 AM IST

New York: A sugary snack can actually ease the pain of a gut-busting holiday feast, researchers have claimed.

According to Arnold Berstad and his colleagues from the Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital in Oslo, sugar appears to stimulate the vagus nerve, which controls digestion, speech, breathing and other functions.

“A sweet taste can allow the stomach to hold more, and we can eat a little more without experiencing discomfort,” the New York Post quoted Berstad as saying.

The tickled nerve signals the stomach muscle to loosen up and allow a bit more food to fit in.

At the same time, the looser stomach muscle lets the food you’ve already eaten settle comfortably.

However, the effects last “long enough to influence the current meal but maybe not more.”

Experts have said that sugary fare can relax the stomach so much that it doesn’t feel full even when it really is. In fact, sugar’s effect on the vagus nerve may be one reason it’s easy to overdo it when it comes to dessert.

ANI