Okay, we all know that modern high-sugar diets are BAD, but did you know that according to a new study by scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), high sugar diets may be harming our brains and memory?
According to Professor Gomez Pinilla, DHA helps brain cells transmit signals and could lessen the damage caused by sugar. In the study, rats were used to investigate how brain activity responds to sugar. Researchers gave a group of rats a solution of high-fructose corn syrup (used in many of our favorite sweet foods) instead of water, for six weeks. They also gave half of the rats omega-3 fatty acid supplements, containing DHA, renowned for its brain-booting properties.
Before they began the program, the rats were trained for six days on a maze and tested on how well they navigated it. After six weeks on their new diet, the rats were once again tested on their ability to navigate the maze. Oh my goodness, this sounds like me. Some days I can’t find my way through the maze I call my life either. I wonder if it’s the sugar?
The difference between the two groups of rats was significant. “The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity,” said Professor Gomez-Pinilla. “Their brain cells had trouble signalling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.”
The researchers also discovered that the rats without the DHA supplement had begun to develop a resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates how cells in the body store and use sugar. This in turn affected how the rats processed thoughts and emotions.
“Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning,” Gomez-Pinilla said.
“Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new.”
So it’s bad news for those of us with a sweet tooth – not only does sugar rot our teeth and make us fat, it may also be making us stupid too. Pass the carrots.
Dawn Billings is the author of over 20 books and the founder of The Heart Link Women’s Network, a women’s networking organization with over 200 locations in US, Canada and Australia, specifically designed to aid women in growing their businesses together while strengthening their communities. Dawn is also the CEO and Founder of Find-Success.co, Heart to Heart Media, TROVA Business Network and President of DawnBillings.com a training company dedicated to touching lives in ways that can change the direction of hearts and create a better world. Check out Dawn Personality tool called the Primary Colors Personality Test.