Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Flashback Friday: Is Christmas cheer actually caused by meth-like chemicals in gingerbread?

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceDecember 5, 2014 5:00 PM
8312615365_e13e6b94ea_z-300x200.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/bonvoyagetohappyDo the holidays make you happy? Do you enjoy eating items spiced with nutmeg, such as gingerbread and eggnog? Well, according to this author, there might be a connection between your Christmas cheer and nutmeg consumption. More specifically, he theorizes that amphetamine-like compounds formed during the baking and cooking of nutmeg-containing compounds "may be responsible, in part, for uplifting our mood in winter." The author goes on to speculate that these spices are specifically eaten in the winter because the dark, cold days require extra doses of "cheer." While he concedes that the effect of these compounds on mood could also just be due to nostalgia for holidays past, we're going to play it safe this holiday season... and eat extra gingerbread!Christmas gingerbread (Lebkuchen) and Christmas cheer–review of the potential role of mood elevating amphetamine-like compounds formed in vivo and in furno. "Whether or not the pharmacology and toxicology of spices such as nutmeg can be explained on the basis of their allylbenzene or propenylbenzene content is speculative. Humans may be exposed to amphetamines derived from these precursors in forno, the formation during baking and cooking, for example in the preparation of Lebkuchen, or Christmas gingerbread. It is possible that this may be responsible, in part, for uplifting our mood in winter. However, the role of these aromatic substances, acting simply as odours, evoking old memories of winters past, cannot be ignored.” Related content: How much cocaine can a honey bee take?Cheaters might not always win, but they do get a “cheater’s high”.NCBI ROFL: Why you shouldn't make figures while high on drugs.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In