Fructose Diet Affects Memory and Learning

Wed, 16 May 2012

A diet which is consistently high in fructose slows down the brain and affects memory and learning adversely, according to researchers at the University of California.

The American researchers asserted that high-fructose corn syrup, a relatively cheap liquid six times sweeter than cane sugar, is widely added to processed foods, such as, soft drinks, baby food and condiments.

The research involved the study of two groups of rats, with each group consuming a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks.

The second group was given omega 3 fatty acids by way of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which provides protection against damage to the synapses, the chemical connections between brain cells that assist memory and learning.

The animals were fed usual food for rats and trained on a maze twice daily for five days prior to starting the experimental diet.

The scientists placed objects in the way of the rats in order for them to remember them.

Six weeks on, the researchers tested the rats' ability to recall the route as well as escape the maze.

The second group of rats navigated the maze a lot faster than the rats who did not receive omega-3 fatty acids.

The DHA-deprived animals were a lot slower, with their brains showing a drop decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signalling each other, interrupting the rats' ability to think accurately and recall the route they had learnt six weeks earlier.
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