As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: May 16, 2012
by Huffington Post:
We all know that a high-sugar diet can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, hyperactivity in children and a host of other health problems. And, according to a recent study, the sweet stuff might affect how you think, as well. That’s the bad news, but there’s good news too: a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help to mitigate sugar’s effect on the brain.
Researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine used rats to explore how a high-fructose diet affects basic cognitive abilities like memory, learning and problem-solving. “Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said professor of neurosurgery Fernando Gomez-Pinilla at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in a statement. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.” Interestingly, the researchers found that eating omega-3 fatty acids could help to mitigate the sugar-associated damage.
Gomez-Pinilla and his colleague, Rahul Agrawal, looked specifically at high-fructose corn syrup, a common sweetener in processed foods like sodas, packaged cookies, condiments, sauces and even baby formula. The average American consumes more than 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup each year.
The two researchers devised an experiment in which they trained a group of rats on a complicated maze twice a day for five days. After that, they split the rats into two groups. They gave both groups of rats a high-fructose corn syrup solution in place of water, but one of the groups was additionally given flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (known more commonly as DHA) — two high-quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to protect against neural damage.
After six weeks of the sugary diet, the researchers reintroduced the maze. They found that the sugar-only group had a much harder time recalling the maze and were slower in their problem solving. The sugar-and-omega-3 group fared better. Gomez-Pinilla theorizes that the high-sugar diet is bad for the brain for the same reason it’s harmful to the body: too much fructose disrupts production of the hormone insulin, which is used by the body to regulate blood sugar. Steady blood sugar levels are essential to provide energy for things like walking and running — but also for recalling and problem-solving.
“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 a press release.
The study, published in this week’s issue of the Journal of Physiology is the first to look at how sugar affects the brain’s function.
Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, suggests that this type of therapy may...
A Johns Hopkins Medicine analysis of information gathered for an ongoing and federally sponsored study of aging and disability adds to evidence that a substantial majority of older adults with probable dementia in the United States...
It’s not uncommon to feel disorganized and forgetful when you’re under a lot of stress. But over the long term, stress may actually change your brain in ways that affect your memory. Studies in both animals and...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.