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

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceDecember 5, 2014 5:00 PM


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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.

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