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High Fructose Diets Can Impair Memory

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 30, 2009
Moms around the world warn their kids that too much sugar — or fructose — will rot their teeth, but did they ever think it could also affect their memory?

Researchers at Georgia State's Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology found that after feeding a group of Sprague-Dawley rats a diet that was 60 percent fructose, the rats' memories were impaired. Fructose is a type of sugar found in processed foods and sodas.

Marise Parent, associate professor at Georgia State, said:

Fructose, unlike another sugar, glucose, is processed almost solely by the liver, and produces an excessive amount of triglycerides — fat which get into the bloodstream. Triglycerides can interfere with insulin signaling in the brain, which plays a major role in brain cell survival and plasticity, or the ability for the brain to change based on new experiences.

Results were similar in adolescent rats, but it is unclear whether the effects of high fructose consumption are permanent, she said.

Human diets typically do not consist of the same high amount of fructose as the rats in the study, however, foods containing fructose and high fructose corn syrup are being consumed at increasing rates. Diets high in fructose can potentially cause such health issues as insulin insensitivity, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cariovascular disease. Many foods now contain fructose, but keeping your diet checked and eating foods with fructose in moderation can make a difference. —ScienceDaily

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