Can Sugar Make You Forgetful?

     This research affirms what I’ve seen in my own clinical work with patients who have conditions related to brain function, from autism to dementia.  Refined sugar contributes to inflammation throughout the body, which throws the body’s systems out of balance and contributes to many of the chronic, diet-related conditions of modern society.

     Over the past few years I have written several posts about the dangers of refined sugar.  In a nutshell, our bodies just aren’t able to handle such a potent substance.  We’ve known that type 2 diabetes can cause memory problems due to reduced or blocked blood flow to the brain.  Now, new research reveals that high blood sugar levels themselves—without diabetes—can lead to similar harm.

     The researchers excluded people who were overweight, consumed more than 3.5 servings of alcohol per day, and those who already had memory and thinking impairments.  Participants were given several tests and also had brain scans as a part of the project.  Results showed that those with lower blood sugar levels had higher scores on the memory tests than those with higher blood sugar levels.

     To quote the author of the study, “Clinically, even if your blood sugar levels are ‘normal,’ lower blood sugar levels are better for your brain in the long run with regard to memory functions as well as memory-relevant brain structures like the hippocampus.”  The researchers believe that keeping glucose levels lower long-term could help prevent cognitive decline in aging.  See the write-up here.