How Sugar Affects Your Brain

Did you know that added sugar can be found in up to 74% of packaged foods on American supermarket shelves? And despite the American Heart Association recommendation that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons per day and men no more than 9, research shows that the average American consumes about 19.5 teaspoons of the substance daily. That’s over 3 x the recommended maximum intake! All together, this means that each citizen ingests about 66 pounds of added sugar every single year. To put these numbers in perspective, that’s equal to the weight of two cinder blocks or a double mattress. 

We all know that sugar is bad for teeth and waistlines, but research increasingly suggests that excess sugar consumption could also have a negative impact on the brain. That’s why we’ve compiled a short list of the ways in which sugar may impact everything from memory to mood

To support brain health we recommend cutting down on as much added sugar in your diet as possible and trying a supplement like Parker Naturals Max Strength Brain Boost. Packed with powerful herbs like ginko biloba and St. John’s wort, it’s specially formulated to improve focus, memory and mood. 

Learning and Memory Function

A recent study from Boston University followed 4,200 people and tested them for memory and cognition. Participants who consumed more sugar in their diets showed poorer memory over time and even a reduction in brain volume when compared with people with a lower sugar intake. The reduction in volume was particularly significant in the hippocampus which is the area of the brain thought to handle short-term memory. 

Heavy sugar intake may also cause the development of a resistance to insulin, a hormone that regulates the function of brain cells. If insulin levels in the brain are lowered as a result of too much sugar, this may also cause problems with cognition. 

Addiction

Have you ever noticed that the more sugar you eat, the more you crave? When we consume sugar, it activates pathways in the brain that release hormones like dopamine which flood our systems with pleasurable feelings. Too much sugar hijacks this reward system and results in an increased tolerance to sugar and even more intense cravings for the substance

Mood Swings, Depression and Anxiety

Drinking a sugary soda, eating an ice-cream or otherwise ingesting a large amount of sugar causes blood sugar levels in the body to rise suddenly and then drop as the body tries to process more sugar than it can use. You may experience a sudden rush of energy as blood sugar peaks, followed by an abrupt change of mood as sugar levels plummet. This spike and fall in blood sugar may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety or depression

Too much sugar in the body also over-stimulates the parts of the brain that release serotonin which some researchers believe may cause depressive symptoms. 

While it can be a challenge to completely cut added sugar out of your diet, in order to keep your body and brain healthy it is a good idea to keep a close eye on how much unnecessary sugar you may be ingesting. Check the labels on any processed foods you buy, keep high sugar foods like chocolate and soda to a minimum and try a natural brain health supplement like Parker Naturals Extra Strength Brain Boost to support mental focus, clarity, memory and cognition.


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References:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html

http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption.html#.WuotC9MvyRs

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/04/21/sugary-drink-consumption-linked-to-reduced-memory-brain-volume/#

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html

https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/02/health/sugar-brain-diet-partner/index.html

https://draxe.com/what-sugar-does-to-your-brain/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sugar-gary-taube_us_587e9917e4b01cdc64c859ff

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/world-health-organization-lowers-sugar-intake-recommendations/



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