Can Sugar Effect Your Cognitive Ability?

Do you enjoy drinking soda?

Well, don’t be surprised if you start forgetting where you left your keys, because according to US scientists eating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower. The recently published study showed how a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup (like those found in sugar and other refined sweet treats) zapped lab rats’ memories.

The Science

The study was conducted at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where researchers fed two groups of rats a solution containing high-fructose corn syrup — a common ingredient in processed foods — as drinking water for six weeks.

One group of rats was supplemented with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the other group was not.

Before the sugar drinks began, the rats were enrolled in a five-day training session in a complicated maze. After six weeks on the sweet solution, the rats were then placed back in the maze to see how they fared.

Sugar & The Brain

A closer look at the rat brains revealed that those who were not fed DHA supplements had also developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates brain function.

“Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss,” Gomez-Pinilla said.

In other words, eating too much fructose could interfere with insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar, which is necessary for processing thoughts and emotions.

Everyone is always focused on the effect of high-fructose corn syrup on weight gain and obesity, but this study shows that a high-fructose diet not only harms the body, but harms the brain as well.

What Kind of Sugar Is Most Damaging?

High-fructose corn syrup is commonly found in soda, condiments, applesauce, baby food and other processed snacks. What is worse is that the average American consumes more than 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is saturated with sugar, high omega-6 fatty acids, excessive calories, trans fats, processed and pesticide-laden foods. People who have a simple, carbohydrate-based diet (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit juice and sugar) have a 400% increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. New research has also linked a sugar-laden diet to Alzheimer’s disease, which some scientists are now calling “type 3 diabetes.”

Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity are national health epidemics that continue to grow. The answer is NOT to see them as individual, separate disorders, but rather as different outcomes of the same unhealthy lifestyle that have exactly the same cure. The best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to eliminate all the risk factors that are associated with the disease—and the good news is that most of them are either preventable or treatable.

We Can Help

Being serious about brain health has no age limit, especially when a better brain can help improve your focus, mood, and memory. You can create a brain-healthy life by learning how to love and care for the most important part of your body- your brain. To learn how we can optimize your health, please call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.

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