Sugar, especially in the form of fructose, is proving to be perhaps the most damaging component of the modern diet, linked not only with increasing rates of obesity and diabetes but also heart disease and cancer. And if all that doesn’t have you swearing off soda and sweets, a new study has found that high blood sugar levels may also have an impact on cognitive function.
Research, conducted at the University of Bath and King’s College London, has found that high blood glucose levels create protein glycation, which damages an enzyme (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) involved in the body’s immune response and insulin regulation. When MIF production is diminished or inhibited, the abnormal proteins that form plaques and tangles in the brain are allowed to build up, leading to unrelenting cognitive decline suffered by Alzheimer’s patients.
Not only does it make sense to control sugar in our diet to keep weight off to help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and strain on joints, limiting sugar in all its forms may help lower risk for dementia in older age.
To read more about how high blood sugar may be the “tipping point” leading to Alzheimer’s disease, visit the University of Bath’s website by following this link.
The Alzheimer’s Society is funding a clinical trial to determine if using a diabetes drug could also help treat dementia. Researchers have discovered that diabetes can double the chance of developing dementia but until now, it was not fully understood what connected the two chronic conditions. To learn more about the drug study in the UK, visit the Alzheimer’s Society webpage by following this link.