Studies relate excessive sugar consumption with an increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Most of the people, across the world, believe that sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s disease are two different health concerns. However, scientific research says that both of them are interrelated. Scientists have found a link between high sugar diet and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Perlmutter, the writer of the best-selling book “Grain Brain,” associates the standard Western diet with a variety of neurological issues. Moreover, Dr. Emily Deans from Harvard University has come up with new data that suggests that the standard Western diet promotes a smaller brain size.
Alzheimer’s disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States of America. The rate of reported Alzheimer’s cases is continuously rising, along with obesity and the underlying metabolic syndrome. Owing to the continuously increasing and prevailing danger of the disease, scientists are thoroughly investigating possible cures to it.
A small study by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), determines that partial memory loss or Alzheimer’s can possibly be reversed. For the study, the researchers followed a template similar to the Paleo diet. The results of the study implied that a high-sugar diet negatively affects the mental health of an individual.
The study further reveals that the pathways of the development of diabetes influence the Alzheimer’s disease. High consumption of sugar causes diabetes, which hampers the health of the brain.
Alzheimer’s is even acknowledged as “Type-3 diabetes.” This is because the brain produces insulin. The brain cells need insulin to survive. Any kind of disruption in this insulin production can put the brain at greater risks.
Studies have shown that people with diabetes have reduced gray matter in comparison to people who aren’t diabetic. This is important to note because the loss of gray matter promotes Alzheimer’s. Thus, we can say that a high sugar diet imposes unhealthy effects on the mental health of an individual.
In addition, several other studies have also identified the link between the consumption of sugar and Alzheimer’s. Some of them are as follow,
- A study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. It states that the higher levels of glucose in blood serve as a risk factor for dementia.
- A study states that insulin resistance is allied with reasonably lower cerebral glucose metabolism.
- A separate study, conducted in 2013, revealed that the western lifestyle promotes Type-2 diabetes which eventually increases the risks of Alzheimer’s and obesity. Common factors of the western lifestyle causing the situation include high-calorie diets and a lack of exercise.
- Another study entails that Alzheimer’s is linked to high sugar consumption. High-sugar diets cause weight gain and insulin resistance, increasing an individual’s risk of Type-2 diabetes which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Moreover, the studies suggest that both disorders have the same kind of clinical and biochemical features, demographic profiles, and risk factors.
All of these studies suggest that a high-sugar diet enhances the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Equal risks imply to the people who don’t have diabetes. These studies also ascertain that you can reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by following a low-sugar Paleo diet.
Research also says that burning too much glucose also interrupts proper brain function. Thus, the intake of sugar must be regulated within safe limits, not too much, not too less.
What kind of sugars is dangerous for your health?
It is important to know that sugars are of two kinds,
- Added Sugars
- Naturals sugars
Added sugars are the single worst ingredient, damaging your metabolism in the long run. They are mostly part of processed foods like candies, soft drinks, bakery items etc. The most common of added sugars are “sucrose” and “high-fructose corn syrup.”
Natural sugars, on the other hand, occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. They aren’t that harmful to the health and well-being of the individuals.
In order to avoid all the possible damages, caused by sugar consumption, people must avoid added sugars. They should refrain from using processed food items.
The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day. According to it, 150 calories per day i.e. 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar is the safe amount for men. However, women can eat 100 calories per day which make 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugars.
People, with a healthy and active lifestyle, easily burn calories and thus are at reduced risk of developing diseases relating to high sugar intake. Their physical activity keeps their mind alert as well. On contrary, people with a sedentary lifestyle must strictly follow these guidelines and limit their sugar consumption as much as they can.
More on Alzheimer’s disease
People suffering from Alzheimer’s usually have plaques and tangles in their brain. This accumulation of amyloid plaques between the neurons is one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile, neurofibrillary tangles are the inexplicably twisted fibers in between the nerve cells.
There are two hypotheses that explain the possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The cholinergic hypothesis; it states that the reduced synthesis of the acetylcholine causes Alzheimer’s disease to develop. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in your body. However, the drugs targeting the synthesis of acetylcholine remain unsuccessful in treating the disease.
- The other hypothesis says that the binding of the amyloid precursor protein to a death receptor-6 (DR6) causes Alzheimer’s.
Genetics is a crucial factor in developing Alzheimer’s. Thus, the experts believe that epigenetics i.e. your diet and lifestyle can greatly affect the development of the condition.
At least one in every 10 people, older than 65, have developed Alzheimer’s disease. The common symptoms of the disease cause problems with judgment, memory, and thinking. If the brain continues to malfunction, the condition can aggravate to dementia and memory loss.
Alzheimer’s is often tried to treat with medications. However, the medicines only ease the symptoms of the disease, and the condition itself remains incurable. Thus, people must opt for natural, alternative cures or preventive measures for the disease.
This study suggests that limiting your sugar intake can serve to prevent the disease in the long run. The experts, however, couldn’t explain the key link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Thus, they encourage further studies regarding the subject.