It’s no secret that washing down a half a dozen donuts with a liter of coke every day can lead to obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, you can now add Alzheimer’s disease to that list. Researchers at the University of Bath in the U.K. have found that high blood sugar levels can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States.
Excess Sugar Intake Can Lead to Alzheimer’s
People with diabetes are known to be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but this study identified a direct link between sugar and the brain disease.
“Excess sugar is well known to be bad for us when it comes to diabetes and obesity,” explains Dr. Omar Kassaar from The University of Bath, “but this potential link with Alzheimer’s disease is yet another reason that we should be controlling our sugar intake in our diets.”
By analyzing brain tissue samples from people with and without Alzheimer’s, researchers identified excess glucose as a “molecular tipping point” for the disease. They came to this conclusion after finding that glucose damages a crucial enzyme in our brain known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), through a process called glycation.
How Does Sugar Lead to Alzheimer’s?
MIF is critical for the immune response of brain cells and your body’s regulation of insulin that balances blood sugar. It would also help to tackle any brain inflammation that occurs in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but once glycation eats away at MIF activity, the brain disease progresses. As Alzheimer’s increases in stages, glycation increases along with it, leading to a severe form of the deadly disease.
Getting Rid of Your Sweet Tooth
Now that we understand sugar as a major cause of Alzheimer’s, we can decrease our chances of being affected by the disease. The only problem is that sugar tastes good – so good in fact, that it is known to be as addicting as heroin and cocaine. When you crave sugar, you may be tempted to go for the ice cream, but your body is actually telling you it’s lacking certain essential minerals and amino acids like Carbon, Chromium, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Tryptophan. The next time your sweet tooth kicks in, turn to these foods instead:
- Carbon: Fresh Fruits
- Chromium: Cheese, Broccoli, Grapes, Chicken
- Phosphorus: Chicken, Beef, Fatty Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Veggies, Dairy
- Sulfur: Cranberries, Horseradish, Cabbage, Cauliflower
- Tryptophan: Cheese, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet treat on occasion, but when cake and donuts become a major food group in your diet, it’s time to make some changes for your health.
We have more natural ways to reduce the risk of deadly diseases in our blog. Learn how healthy eating habits can save you from a heart attack.