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Sugar- Not Sweet for Your Brain

Sugar – Not Sweet for Your Brain

Excessive sugar has a negative effect on the brain. The key to a well functioning brain is glutamic acid, a compound found in many vegetables. The B vitamins play a major role in dividing glutamic acid into complementary compounds which produce a “proceed” or “control” response in the brain. B vitamins are also manufactured by friendly bacteria which live in our intestinal tract. When refined sugar is regularly eaten, these bacteria wither and die, and our supply of B vitamins gets low. Too much sugar makes one sleepy and lethargic. We may lose our ability to calculate and our memory gets foggy. A 2012 study on rats, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found that a diet high in fructose hinders learning and memory by literally slowing down the brain. The researchers found that rats who over-consumed fructose had damaged synaptic activity in the brain, meaning that communication among brain cells was impaired.1

High sugar and high carb foods can also mess with the neurotransmitters that promote mood stability. Consuming sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. That may sound like a good thing, but constantly over-activating serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of this neurotransmitter, which can contribute to symptoms of depression, according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian.2

Teenagers may be especially vulnerable to the effects of sugar. A recent study on adolescent mice, conducted at Emory University School of Medicine, found a diet high in sugar contributed to depression and anxiety-like behavior. And a 2013 study found that insulin resistance and higher blood glucose levels — hallmarks of diabetes — are linked with a greater risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.3

 

Notes

1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html accessed 8/26/15

2 Ibid

3 Ibid

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