Skip to main content

Sugar High Linked to Memory Loss

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
sugar_cubes_ccfler_howzey
Image placeholder title

A new study from UCLA shows evidence that a diet high in fructose slows down the brain, negatively affects learning, and can damage memory—but adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can counteract the effects.

The study, from the School of Medicine at UCLA, shows that eating a high-fructose diet over a lifetime affects the brain's ability to learn and remember. Plenty of earlier research has shown a link between fructose and diseases like diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver, but this study is the first one that has shown a correlation between fructose and brain function.

Scroll to Continue

From the Organic Authority Files

"We're less concerned about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants," explained Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a lead author on the study. "We're more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative."

The study followed rats who were fed a fructose solution for six weeks. A second group of rats also received the fructose, but got a dose of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), both of which have been shown to protect the synapses in the brain. 

The rats that received the DHA and omega-3s performed markedly better in memory and intelligence tests than those that did not.

"Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose's harmful effects," said Gomez-Pinilla. "It's like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases."

Image by howzey

Shop Editors' Picks

Related Stories