Forgetful Lately?  Blame Your Sweet Tooth

Forgetful Lately? Blame Your Sweet Tooth

Posted by Lori Shemek; November 24, 2013

Have you been feeling forgetful lately? Where DID you put those keys? There may be a reason for this lapse of memory: High blood sugar.

According to a new study from Charité University Medicine in Berlin, found those with high blood sugar showed that their hippocampus was smaller than those with normal blood sugar levels.  What does this mean?  Brain shrinkage. Those participants with elevated blood sugar (without diabetes) could not remember as many words as the normal blood sugar group on a memory test.  Researcher Agnes Flöel of Charité University Medicine in Berlin says she and her colleagues “correlated long-term blood-sugar levels with the number of words people could recall on a memory test.” She said they found that higher long-term blood-sugar levels went along with being able to recall fewer words.

The average American ingest 156 lbs of added sugar a year! Staggering! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) puts the amount at 27.5 teaspoons of sugar a day per capita.

Dr Clare Walton, research communications manager for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We already know that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, but this new study suggests that higher blood sugar levels may also be linked to poor memory in people without diabetes.”

Sugar is the #1 inflammatory ‘food’ and when we ingest it, we are creating low-level inflammation that affects not just our brain – but all over our body.  When we eat sugar, we reduce the output of a brain chemical called ‘BDNF’ (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the hippocampus – the very area where memory and learning are created.

It’s possible that low BDNF may turn out to be the smoking gun in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Robert Ratner, the chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association said: “It has been well established that elevated glucose impacts brain function and recovery in people following a stroke,” Simply reducing our level of circulating blood sugar, can have a real-time beneficial and preventive effect.

Help guard against memory loss and promote brain health by:

  • Reducing/avoiding added sugar intake
  • Reduce excess carbohydrates in the diet
  • Exercising (exercise increases BDNF output and increases the body’s ability to utilize insulin)
  • Add neuro-protective foods that are nutrient dense such as: nuts, berries, dark green leafy veggies, avocados, fatty fish and the spice turmeric to your daily diet.

This research is only the beginning of what a high sugar intake is doing to our bodies and our brain. Let’s take the steps to stop and reverse the damage.

To Your Health,