Australian Natural Bodz - - Nutrition Knowledge Centre -

Re­sults of a study con­ducted at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USC) has shown that ado­les­cent rats that freely con­sumed large quan­ti­ties of liq­uid so­lu­tions con­tain­ing sugar or high-fruc­tose corn syrup (HFCS) in con­cen­tra­tions com­pa­ra­ble to popular sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages ex­pe­ri­enced mem­ory prob­lems and brain in­flam­ma­tion, and be­came pre­di­a­betic. Scott Kanoski, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at USC’s Dorn­sife Col­lege of Let­ters, Arts and Sciences, and col­leagues in­ves­ti­gated the ef­fects of sugar and HFCS on 76 rats. Ado­les­cent or adult male rats were given 30-day ac­cess to chow, wa­ter, and ei­ther (1) 11% su­crose so­lu­tion, (2) 11% HFCS so­lu­tion, or (3) an ex­tra bot­tle of wa­ter (con­trol). Ap­prox­i­mately 35-40% of the rats’ daily calo­ries were ob­tained from sugar or HFCS. The rats then un­der­went a se­ries of tests. Re­sults showed that in ado­les­cent rats, HFCS in­take im­paired hip­pocam­pal-de­pen­dent spa­tial learn­ing and mem­ory in a Barne’s maze, whilst mod­er­ate learn­ing im­pair­ment was also ob­served in the rats in the su­crose group. Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that pro­tein ex­pres­sion of the proin­flam­ma­tory cy­tokines in­ter­leukin 6 and in­ter­leukin 1β was in­creased in the hip­pocam­pus of the ado­les­cent rats fed HFCS, while liver in­ter­leukin 1β and plasma in­sulin lev­els were el­e­vated in both ado­les­cent-ex­posed sugar groups. On the other hand, in­take of HFCS or su­crose in adults did not im­pact spa­tial learn­ing, glu­cose tol­er­ance, or neu­roin­flam­ma­tory mark­ers. “The brain is es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to di­etary in­flu­ences dur­ing crit­i­cal pe­ri­ods of devel­op­ment, like ado­les­cence,” said Kanoski, “Con­sum­ing a diet high in added sug­ars not only can lead to weight gain and meta­bolic dis­tur­bances, but can also neg­a­tively im­pact our neu­ral func­tion­ing and cog­ni­tive abil­ity.” Ba­si­cally ex­cess sugar makes us a whole lot dumber!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.