Be careful! Too much sugar can lead to reduced memory in adulthood

Did you know glucose is the primary source of fuel required by your brain? Over the years, studies have proved that too much sugar in the system can have a direct impact on your cognitive health. But an excessive amount of sugar in the system can lead to problems and affect your memory. A new study has found that high intake of sugar-sweetened during adolescence can affect brain development and cause impairments in learning and memory in adulthood. Also Read – Aerobic exercise may reduce memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients

High-Sugar Diet May Impair Memory

The study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry showed that consuming too much sugar in adulthood can lead to an increased level of a type of gut bacteria called parabacteroides. The higher the level of parabacteroides, the worse the animals performed in the memory and learning task. Also Read – Menopause may increase forgetfulness, lack of attention

For the study, the team gave juvenile rats their normal chow and an 11 per cent sugar solution. They were then subjected to a hippocampus-dependent memory task, which is used to measure episodic contextual memory or remembering the context where they had seen a familiar object before. Also Read – Jaggery: Stock up on gur this season to ward off several health woes

Lead author Emily Noble, Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, USA, said, “We found that rats that consumed sugar in early life had an impaired capacity to discriminate that an object was novel to a specific context, a task the rats that were not given sugar were able to do. Early life sugar consumption seems to selectively impair their hippocampal learning and memory.”

They also examined the elevated levels of parabacteroides in the microbiome of rats that had never had sugar. After analysis, they found that animals showed impairments in both hippocampal dependent and hippocampal-independent memory tasks.

“(The bacteria) induced some cognitive deficits on its own. We found that the bacteria alone were sufficient to impair memory in the same way as sugar, but it impaired other types of memory functions as well,” Noble said.

Best Natural Sweeteners To Replace Sugar

Quitting refined sugar can be tough but it is definitely worth the effort. But the less refined form of sugar you eat, the better as it contains vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Here are some sugar alternatives you can include in your diet:

Raw Honey

One of the oldest natural sweeteners, raw honey contains amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Consuming raw honey can help you build your immunity to common allergens. Honey is also good to treat digestive issues such as diarrhoea and improve digestion.

Jaggery

Jaggery is one of the natural ingredients that has recently gained popularity. It is considered more nutritious than refined white sugar and has many health benefits. Some of the benefits it offers are improved digestive health, anaemia, liver detoxification and improved immune function.

Stevia

A popular low-calorie sweetener, which is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana. Several studies have found that stevia lowers high blood pressure and the risk of diabetes. It also improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol and alleviates the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

Dates

Dates are also a good and healthy alternative to sugar. They are high in several nutrients, including fibre and antioxidants. All you need to do is soften the dates by soaking them overnight at room temperature or for 15 minutes in warm water.

Published : April 3, 2021 6:30 pm | Updated:April 3, 2021 6:31 pm




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