Ice cream could be bad for you as it has been linked to a rise in negative emotions

As temperatures soar in some parts of the UK, certain ingredients in the popular frozen dessert have been linked to causing a rise in negative emotions.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 08:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 08:41 am

While ice cream may cool you down and taste delicious it could have the potential to send you to a dark place, and there are scientific reasons behind this.

That's because ice cream may cause a range of physical and emotional responses in some people.

Ice cream could have a negative impact on your mood

But by learning your own physical and mental triggers so you don't over indulge could save you from crashing and experiencing such unfortunate mood swings.

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While the initial boost of sugar may provide you with a sense of energy and enthusiasm, the high will melt faster than a ‘99’.

"Sweet treats like ice cream can cause an imbalance in your blood sugar levels which may quickly send your mood low," explains Dr Gill Hart, biochemist and Scientific Director of food intolerance testing firm, YorkTest Laboratories.

Dr Hart says in addition to experiencing a low mood, you can also experience signs that your blood sugar levels are on a roller coaster. Symptoms include poor concentration, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision and even crying spells.

As Dr Hart explains: "Dairy has been found to be linked to mood issues.

"Dairy contains the protein casein which has been linked to low mood, attention deficit and aggressive behaviour.”

Dr Hart says that many other ingredients in ice cream such as flavourings, fruit and of course milk itself are linked to food intolerances. Low mood can be associated with food intolerance. Gluten, another favourite ingredient in ice cream, could also be a problematic food linked to temperament.

Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Early Intervention conducted a study at the Medical University of Lublin in Poland studying the link between foods that caused a reaction in blood antibodies (IgG) and the effect on behaviour. They found people who suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and depression were more likely to suffer from a food intolerance as their IgG

levels were higher.

“Our findings suggest more common food specific serum IgG hyperactivity (food intolerance) among patients with IBS and major depressive disorder compared with healthy controls,” says study lead author Hanna Karakula-Juchnowicz.

Dr Hart adds: "There are studies that show what we eat can alter gut flora. We know that this not only affects the metabolism but also affects the brain function."

Dr Hart published a white paper detailing the connection between diet and general mood and behaviour.

On the topic of depression, she states: "Depression is not only linked to changes in neurotransmission in the central nervous system but also changes via hormonal, inflammatory and immune mechanisms, and many studies have shown elevated levels of pro-inflammatory markers in those with depression.

“And 95 per cent of our happy hormone is present in the gut and this can be influenced by our gut bacteria.”