Blame it on a type of sugar that a study warns causes Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s patients have been found to have high levels of a certain type of sugar in the brain. A new study suggests that naturally occurring sugar may play an important role in dementia risk.
A new study warns that the diet contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of sugar interfere with the wheel.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that fructose may provide clues to the development and possible treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fructose describes a type of sugar naturally found in fruits, fruit juices, certain vegetables, and honey.
The natural sweetener is also the main ingredient in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which is used to flavor many processed foods and drinks.
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Study lead author Richard Johnson said: “We argue that Alzheimer’s disease is related to diet.”
Johnson and his team suggested that Alzheimer’s disease is a harmful adaptation of the evolutionary survival pathway used in animals and our distant ancestors during times of scarcity.
The researchers wrote: “The basic principle of life is to provide enough food, water and oxygen for survival.
“A lot of attention has been focused on acute survival reactions to hypoxia and starvation. However, nature has devised a clever way to protect animals before the crisis actually happens.”
Faced with the possibility of starvation, early humans developed a survival response that drove them to seek food.
Foraging requires focus, quick judgment, impulsiveness, exploratory behavior, and risk taking.
The practice is enhanced by blocking out anything that interferes, such as recent memories, and this is where fructose comes into play.
Sugar helps loosen these centers, allowing you to focus more on gathering food.
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Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that the entire food-seeking response was driven by the metabolism of fructose, whether it was eaten or simply produced in the body.
In addition, scientists have noticed that fructose reduces blood flow to the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for self-control, as well as to the hippocampus and thalamus.
Johnson said: “We believe that the initially fructose-dependent decrease in brain metabolism in these areas was reversible and should be beneficial.
“But the chronic and persistent decline in cerebral metabolism caused by repetitive fructose metabolism leads to progressive brain atrophy and neuronal loss with all the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The researchers suspect that while the survival response helped ancient humans, it now leads to overeating of fatty, sweet, and salty foods, causing excess production of fructose.
Unfortunately, fructose produced in the brain can lead to inflammation and eventually Alzheimer’s disease.
“You can also find high levels of fructose in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s,” Johnson said.
The researchers added that more dietary and pharmacological trials are now needed to find out if reducing fructose can benefit, prevent, or manage the brain-stealing condition.
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