Recent studies spearheaded by a professor have brought to light the adverse effects of sugar on human intellect, branding it as “evil” and a factor in the intellectual decline. Sugar, a staple in human diet since 8,000 BCE and historically used for medicinal purposes and culinary delights, is now under scrutiny for its long-term impacts on human cognition.
Research focusing on 40-year-olds with higher, yet still “normal” glucose levels has revealed a startling 15% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The culprit, particularly fructose, is believed to deprive the brain of vital energy over time, resulting in memory loss and brain shrinkage.
Robert Lustig, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, USA, warns about the dangers of excessive fructose intake. “Excess fructose consumption is impairing our cognitive abilities and is also associated with aggressive behavior,” he explains. He also notes the economic peril of high-fructose corn syrup, which, due to its lower cost compared to sucrose, has become prevalent in various food products. Lustig advises consuming fruit in its natural form rather than in juices.
This new research highlights the negative impact of sugar on our cells, particularly mitochondria, leading to energy deprivation in the brain. This is particularly concerning for individuals with diabetes, who are four times more likely to develop dementia. Regular monitoring of HbA1c levels is crucial for these individuals, as sugar spikes can lead to cognitive decline and hippocampus shrinkage – a key symptom of Alzheimer’s.
To combat these effects, Lustig recommends a diet with no added sugar and low carbohydrates to safeguard brain health.
In support of this research, a dementia prevention charity, Food for the Brain (http://foodforthebrain.org), has developed an accessible home pin prick blood test. Patrick Holford, CEO of the charity, emphasizes the link between insulin resistance, caused by excessive glucose, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which starves the brain of energy. This can lead to concentration and memory issues. Holford urges people to use their free online cognitive function test and the home testing kit to detect and prevent cognitive decline early.
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