Put That Cookie Down! New Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s Discovered
We already know that consuming excessive amounts of sugar, especially refined sugar, is extremely bad for our overall health. A diet full of sugar can lead to diabetes, fatty liver disease, weight gain, heart disease, and a whole other slew of issues.
Although the risks are evident, many Americans still decide to fill their plates with much more sugar than is recommended. For those that value their mental health and memory, a recent study may have them reaching for peppers instead of pastries.
New Research Links Sugar and Alzheimer’s
A group of researchers from the King’s College London and the University of Bath have discovered a potential link between excessive sugar consumption and the Alzheimer’s disease. They detected this link by working with the previously discovered connection between sugar and cell damage. The researchers found a way to “tag” sugar-damaged proteins with fluorescent markers, which led them to their recent discovery.
Alzheimer’s Refresher -> Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and overall behaviour and it is the most common form of dementia, which currently does not have a cure. (Want to help find a cure? Join us next year for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!)
Follow the Glowing Markers
When these researchers followed the fluorescent markers, they observed that in the early stages of the Alzheimer’s disease, a plethora of sugar in the bloodstream damaged a crucial enzyme called macrophage migration inhibitory factor or MIF.
Normally, MIF helps fight against the build-up of proteins in the brain, which can lead to the tangles or plaques that seem to be the root cause of Alzheimer’s all together. If the body detects abnormal protein build ups, our immune system relies on the MIF to take care of the issue. When MIF are not functioning properly, plaque can begin to build up faster, accelerating the process of losing memory and falling into the category of having the Alzheimer’s disease.
The Good News About This Discovery
The more we understand about the causes of Alzheimer’s, the more defences we have against the disease. Scientists will be closely following more “tagged” proteins and enzymes, watching how they travel through the body, and what causes them to accelerate or decline. This could lead to new treatments, prevention methods, and potentially even a cure!
What’s the bad news? Well, it is only bad news if you have a sweet tooth. It can be very difficult to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, especially if you have been eating that way for a very long time. We can become addicted to the “spikes” in energy that sugar provides, which leads to constantly consuming more sugar to stay alert, as the energy sugar provides only lasts for a short amount of time.
Don’t feel too hard on yourself though. Sugar stimulates the same part of our brain as cocaine or heroin. Breaking free from its grip can be difficult, but when you do successfully change your diet and eliminate most of the sugar you are intaking, you will feel 1000x better.
Always Best Care Can Help!
Always Best Care South Bay is at the forefront of the fight to treat and end Alzheimer’s disease. Our Community Health programs include workshops on what constitutes brain healthy diets that may limit an individual’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Our Concierge Home Care delivers compassionate and professional caregivers who can assist with meal preparation and advocate for brain healthy choices.