Can Sugar Harm Your Brain Health and Drive The Alzheimer’s Epidemic?

A study of patients at a large health care system in Washington State showed that higher blood glucose levels was associated with a greater risk of dementia — even among people who don’t have diabetes. The results, published in August, 2013, in The New England Journal of Medicine, “may have influence on the way we think about blood sugar and the brain,” said Dr. Paul Crane, the lead author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington.

According to some experts, such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may in large part be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.

Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers discovered that in addition to your pancreas, your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of brain cells.

Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia.

Studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease. But according to recent research published in the journal Neurology, sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function even if you’re not diabetic or have any signs of dementia.

Normally, a fasting blood sugar level between 100-125 mg/dl is diagnosed as a pre-diabetic state. A fasting blood sugar level of 90-100 is considered “normal.” But in addition to the featured research, other studies have also found that brain atrophy occurs even in this “normal” blood sugar range.

Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD insists that being very strict in limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of THE most important steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for this very reason.

He cites research from the Mayo Clinic, which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia. Meanwhile, high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk.

Indeed, despite overwhelming evidence showing that sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is at the heart of our burgeoning obesity and chronic disease epidemics, the sugar lobby has been so successful in its efforts to thwart the impact of such evidence that there’s still no consensus among our regulatory agencies as to the “factual” dangers of sugar…

Article summary

  • One in nine seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and the disease is now thought to be the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer
  • A growing body of research suggests there’s a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes
  • Recent research shows that sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function even if you’re not diabetic or have any signs of dementia
  • Long-term, sugar can contribute to the shrinking of your hippocampus, which is a hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease
  • The researchers propose that lowering glucose levels, even if they’re within the “normal” range, may have a positive influence on cognition in older people

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

article source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/24/sugar-brain-function.aspx

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1215740
photo credit: Google Images

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