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One in nine seniors over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease and in fact, it’s considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. It’s debilitating and expensive to treat as aging patients are unable to live without a constant caretaker. But what if preventing Alzheimer’s disease was as simple as sugar?

A large body of evidence is showing that diet can impact your chances of getting the disease later in life. You’ve likely heard about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and eating blueberries for brain health, but new research into preventing Alzheimer’s disease shows that sugar may actually harm your brain.

Some researchers have even dubbed Alzheimer’s Disease “type 3” diabetes. Yes, it is true that elevated levels of blood glucose can disrupt brain function in diabetics and cause dementia, but new research shows that a similar disruption can occur in non-diabetics.

Is Sugar the Key to Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease?

Research published in the journal Neurology found that sugar and other carbohydrates are linked to decreased brain function later in life. Researchers at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, evaluated short and long term glucose markers in 141 healthy, non-diabetic adults.

Higher levels of measured glucose were also linked to decreased memory and compromised brain structure in participants.

According to study co-author Agnes Flöel, a neurologist at Charité, the results “provide further evidence that glucose might directly contribute to hippocampal atrophy,” though the data does not provide a causal relationship between sugar and brain health.

Dr. Mercola wrote that sugar damages brain structure and the regulation of neurotransmitters which are crucial to memory and brain function. He said that “Compelling research shows that your brain has great plasticity, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the American public has been grossly brainwashed by the sugar and processed food industries into believing that sugar is a perfectly reasonable “nutrient” that belongs in a healthy diet.”

Want to cut out or cut way back on sugar in your diet? Avoid all refined sugars in candy, cookies, condiments, and beverages as well as white flour. Sugar should not be a daily part of your diet, it should a treat, once in while.

Related on Organic Authority

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Is There a Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes?

5 Healthy Habits for a Disease-Free Brain

Image: Borya