Study suggests sugar can damage the brain

New research has indicated that fructose can cause damage to brain cells, although the scientists also appeared to find that an omega-3 fatty acid reverses these changes.
Fructose is a type of sugar, and is found naturally in some fruit and vegetables, as well as being contained in some sweets and soft drinks. The team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted a study on rats to look at the effects of sugar.
As well as damaging cells in the brain, fructose can result in illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ADH and heart disease, the scientists found.
In the six-week study, a group of rats were fed water that was spiked with fructose, so they were taking in the equivalent of a human drinking a litre of soft drinks each day.
Another group of rats were fed water that did not have anything added to it, for the same amount of time, and the rats lived in the same conditions throughout.
All of the rats were then placed a maze, and despite having received the same amount of training, the rats whose water had been spiked with fructose took twice as long to navigate their way through the maze. This indicated to the researchers that their memories had been impaired, and this was therefore attributed to the fructose.
There was a third group of rats during the experiment, who were fed water spiked with fructose, as well as a flaxseed-oil extract, which was rich in omega-3s, including the fatty acid docosahexaenoic (DHA). This group of rats completed the maze almost as quickly as the group who had been fed just water.
A senior author on the study, Xia Yang, said: “DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable.”

Related Articles