Can Sugar Dissolve Your Memory?
Sugar is satisfying, no doubt, but to what end? Recent studies conclude that high glucose levels negatively affect memory and impair cognition. Natural forms of sugar (fresh fruits and honey, for example), in moderation, are great for energy. What happens, however, when overconsumption of glucose (especially from processed sugar) stagnates in your bloodstream? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
What is Glucose?
Glucose is your #1 metabolic fuel. A human being needs glucose for energy. There are three monosaccharides, which are absorbed into the blood. Glucose is one. (The other two are fructose and galactose.) Glucose is good; it contributes to peak health when levels are properly maintained.
This glucose (blood sugar) must be moved to your cells to provide nourishment. Insulin (created by your pancreas) helps move the glucose from your blood into your cells. What if too much sugar is ingested? Perhaps insulin levels can’t keep up; this may be a cause for the onset of Diabetes. With that said, imbalance of blood sugar can create conditions of either hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
What is Hyperglycemia? – too much blood sugar
After a while, the body may not produce enough insulin to move the massive amount of glucose to the cells; so, the excess sugar remains in the bloodstream. This is not good news. Diabetes may ensue and injections of insulin may become necessary for survival.
What is Hypoglycemia? – not enough blood sugar
How is there not enough glucose in your blood stream? This can happen if you wait too long to eat, don’t eat enough, or are perhaps on some type of medication. Effects include feeling confused, foggy, angry, anxious, and/or fatigued. This occurs because not enough “energy” is created on a cellular level.
To Sugar or Not to Sugar?
So here’s the catch-22. You need glucose for energy (and, basically, to thrive), but your sugar intake needs to be moderate, stable, and from a natural source. Processed foods with processed sugars are not easily transformed into glucose (your energy fuel.) We know these manufactured foods can ruin your girlish figure; additionally, it is proven that these sugars will also mess with (and may destroy) your mind.
Blood sugar levels even on the higher-end of the "normal range" can cause the brain to shrink in two key-areas; these areas are in the hippocampus region, specifically, those associated with memory and emotion. As we get older, this certainly raises the concern for development of dementia and mood disorders (http://www.neurology.org/content/79/10/1019).
In their October 2013 academic article, Kerti, Witte, Winkler et al., explain that even if someone is not suffering from low insulin or Type-2 Diabetes, a high level of glucose in the blood will have an impact on the hippocampus region of the brain. That area includes memory, as well as the ability to learn. These finding may suggest that higher levels of glucose in the blood may even be associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Saving Your Memory
Normal blood sugar levels should be around 70 or a bit above, and a level of 240 is frighteningly high—just to offer a barometer. If the level is too low or too high, the cells are not receiving their proper nourishment. Thus, the onset of atrophy in muscles, organs, (including the brain), may begin. The ideal is to keep natural insulin levels working appropriately. Eat smart and keep fresh, and hopefully you will remember everything wonderful and worthy in your life.