Humans under stress turn to foods that are high in carbohydrates and other comfort foods. These foods help to lower the amount of cortisol released by stress. Foods containing sucrose, instead of saccharin, have a greater calming effect. This effect is learned by experience.
Sucrose (table sugar)has a greater effect than saccharin (the oldest artificial sweetener on the market). The patients discover this effect through experience.
This endogenous mechanism to dampen physiological stress response was recently evaluated by Dr. Yvonne Ulrich-Lai and Dr. James Herman and will be published in the Journal of Endocrinology. For patients that undergo infertility treatment and especially those that suffer from metabolic syndrome knowing that their special appetite for comfort foods may be a result of stress, can lead them to seek appropriate therapies through counseling and relaxation techniques.