Does Sugar Cause Dementia?

By Lisa Collier Cool Sep 06, 2012 271 Recommend

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even when other risk factors. as defined by the World Health Organization.More than 150 million Americans have blood sugar levels that may boost the threat of dementia. reports a new study published in Neurology. PhD. The Diabetes/Dementia Link "Numerous studies have shown a link between type 2 diabetes and brain shrinkage and dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease The Fast Track to Dementia? In the study. with normal fasting blood sugar. Higher (but still “normal” blood sugar) accounted for up to 10 percent of the shrinkage observed. adults ages 60 to 64. and alcohol use were taken into account. The researchers were the first to discover that key brain areas show shrinkage tied to aging and dementia even before blood sugar hits the levels currently classified as diabetic or pre-diabetic. high blood pressure. new research suggests.” excessive sugar circulating in the brain’s blood vessels. The study adds to growing scientific evidence that dementia—irreversible memory loss that occurs with disorders like Alzheimer’s disease—may be triggered by “brain diabetes. blood sugar levels could have an impact on . had brain scans. More than 150 million Americans have “high-normal” blood sugar. smoking. such as age." said study author Nicolas Cherbuin. People whose blood sugar levels are at the high end of “normal” are more likely to have brain shrinkage in areas involved with memory and cognitive skills. those with higher blood sugar showed greater atrophy in areas of the brain’s hippocampus and amygala--both of which play a key role in memory and mental skills— compared to did people with lower blood sugar. “(Our) findings suggest that even for people who do not have diabetes. or diabetes. with Australian National University in Canberra. prediabetes. When the scans were repeated four years later. so may be at risk for accelerated brain aging or dementia.

The 10 Best Diabetes Superfoods Why Does High-Normal Blood Sugar Harm the Brain? “Once people become insulin resistant. What Causes Insulin Resistance? The leading risk factors for insulin resistance include a large waist (greater than 40 inches for a man or 35 inches for a woman.” reports Bradley Bale. Bale. colorful fruits and vegetables.” The CDC reports that one-third of America’s nearly 26 million diabetics and 87 million adults with pre-diabetes are currently undiagnosed.” Like many other scientists. adds Dr. “Most patients with insulin resistance aren’t diagnosed until they become diabetic. they start to develop microvessel disease. low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The more of these risks you have. reducing the amount of oxygen and other nutrients that flow to the brain. as high blood sugar silently damage their brain and blood vessels. even if your weight and BMI are normal). high blood pressure. “Small blood vessels become damaged. Cherbuin believes that the numbers that define “normal” blood sugar urgently need to be re-evaluated. Some of the best ways to protect your health—and your brain—are exercising vigorously every day. losing even a little weight. Texas.brain health.” Many people with IR aren’t aware of their danger. MD. medical director of the Heart Health Program at Grace Clinic in Lubbock. but doesn’t use it properly. IR is the root cause of type 2 diabetes. fiber. more than tripling risk for heart attacks and strokes. Other recent studies indicate that blood sugar levels at the high end of “normal” mark the start of insulin resistance (IR). the more likely you are to become insulin resistant. obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. high triglycerides. and foods that . and eating a diet that’s high in antioxidant-rich. a disorder in which the body produces insulin. the leading cause of dementia.

so can aggravate the problem. This type of sugar. in particular. and coronary heart disease. a diet that’s high in sugar worsens the problem. appears to raise levels of a cell-damaging toxin called uric acid.provide omega-3. while limiting or avoiding sweets. Bale. . the insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas have already lost at least 60 percent of their function. Eating sugary foods puts more demand on these already exhausted cells. “If you’re insulin resistant. chronic kidney disease. the researchers report.” A recent study shows that high-fructose sweeteners. which is ubiquitous in processed foods. may be driving the development of brain-harming microvessel disease. says Dr. increasing potentially risk for vascular dementia. which in turn increases the likelihood that you’ll develop microvessel disease. stroke. such as oily fish like tuna and salmon. The Best Heart Disease Blogs of 2012 How Sugary Foods Harm Your Brain Once you develop IR.