Tags: sweets | fructose | dumb | learning

Soda, Sweets Harm Intelligence

Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 03:04 PM

Too much sugar can make you stupid.
That’s the conclusion of new research revealing that a diet loaded with high fructose corn syrup — such as soda and candy — slows the brain and can hamper learning.
"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Gomez-Pinilla, who teaches at UCLA's medical school. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information."
But the damage from too many sweets can be also tempered with the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to one’s diet, he added.
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The study, to be published next year in the Journal of Physiology, was conducted on two groups of laboratory rats fed regular rat food and then trained to scurry through a maze.
Then, six weeks after being fed a steady diet of high-fructose products, one group began passing through the maze much more slowly.
“Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier,’’ Gomez-Pinella said
The other group of rats, who was also fed omega-3 fatty acids along with high fructose, were able to negotiate the maze normally.
The average American eats roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to UCLA, which broke the story on its news service, earlier research has shown that fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and liver problems.
But this is the first time that a study has uncovered how the sweetener can harm the brain.
Gomez-Pinilla recommends that those with a chronic sweet tooth, balance the habit by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds, or by taking a daily capsule of DHA.
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© HealthDay

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A diet loaded with high fructose corn syrup — such as soda and candy — slows the brain and hampers learning, a study finds.
Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 03:04 PM
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