New study reveals threat to brain function

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(NaturalHealth365) A new UCLA rat study has shown how a diet rich in high fructose corn syrup slows the brain – damaging memory and learning capability. Sugar and especially high fructose syrup seems to be a perfect way to alter brain chemistry. This is the first time science has shown that a sweetener can effect your thinking.

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think.” – Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.

Every news agency needs to report on these findings

The UCLA team zeroed in on high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener six times as sweet as cane sugar and used in processed foods such as soft drinks, condiments, fruit and baby food. The average American consumes more than 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Gomez-Pinilla and study co-author Rahul Agrawal, a UCLA visiting postdoctoral fellow from India, studied two groups of rats that each consumed fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks. The second group also received omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which protects against damage to the synapse, the chemical connections between brain cells that enable memory and learning.

Protect your brain with Omega-3 fatty acids

The animals were fed standard rat chow and trained on a maze twice daily for five days before starting the experimental diet. The UCLA team tested how well the rats were able to navigate a maze which contained numerous holes but only one exit. The scientist placed visual landmarks in the maze to help the rats learn and remember the way.

Six weeks later the researchers tested the rats’ ability to recall the route and escape the maze. The group that received the omega-3 fatty acids navigated the maze much faster than the rats that didn’t receive omega-3 fatty acids. The DHA-deprived rats also showed signs of insulin resistance, a hormone that regulates synaptic function in the brain. A close look at the rats’ brain tissue suggested that insulin has lost its power to influence the brain cells.

The danger of sugar is now crystal clear

Fructose has the ability to block insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar for energy required for processing thoughts and emotions. A high-fructose diet harms the brain and sets the stage for dementia, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, emotional and mental health problems.

Once a brain shifts to a high sugar diet it seems to become chemically dependent on the substances. It forgets the way it should operate and losses its efficiency as a learning and rational thinking tool. The brain is an organ that is responsible for disseminating information and reviewing the data.

We depend on the brain for quality oversight and to drive the correct behavior in complex situations. What we have now is a nation involved in many wrong behaviors, and a lack of understanding between the consumption of sound foods and behavior.

Experiment on yourself. For a few months, try a diet low in sugar and high in Omega-3 fatty acids – found in foods like organic walnuts and flaxseeds. You’ll be fueling your body for a lifetime of learning and emotional well being.

Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

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  • Robert Maresh

    While HFCS is bad, ironically enough, trehalose, a disaccharide double glucose molecule which can be manufactured from corn starch, actually is an antioxidant, and supports the nervous system. Trehalose supports brain function. If production were shifted from HFCS to Trehalose, people would be a lot better off.