Our Alzheimer's Awareness Month newsletter series is focused on raising awareness and promoting brain health. The series will consist of four articles, which will be released once a week throughout the month of June. Each article will cover different aspects of brain health and Alzheimer's disease, offering helpful tips and information to encourage readers to prioritize their brain health.
The Bittersweet Truth: Unraveling the Impact of Sugar on the Brain
June 26, 2023
- Research in animal models has shown that a high-sugar diet leads to impaired memory during and up to one month after stopping consumption. Additionally, the consumption of a high-sucrose solution was shown to reduce neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to reorganize nerve cell connections after learning).
- A high-sugar and high-carbohydrates diet also negatively affects the brain via the gut-brain axis. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can disrupt the gut microbiota (bacteria lining the gut), leading to changes in neurotransmitter metabolism, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, endogenous hormone levels, reduction in size and turnover of neurons, and inflammation.
- In patients with diabetes, the complication of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can damage blood vessels leading to the brain and cause lack of blood flow. When the brain does not receive enough blood, nerve cells can die, leading to brain atrophy (reduction in brain size). This impairs memory and thinking, and if not corrected, will lead to vascular dementia.
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