Does Sugar cause Alzheimer's Disease?

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It’s no secret that sugar isn’t great for us.

Sugar causes weight gain, tooth decay, and an array of health concerns – far too many to mention in one blog post.

Did you know that over-consuming sugar could be harming not just your body, but your mind as well?

There is a well-known link between type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Many people with this type of Diabetes experience brain changes that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent article by the Daily Mail explores some new research that links high levels of glucose in the brain to problems with memory loss. Recently, I discussed these findings on The Today Show (watch the video here). Here’s how I broke the process down.

Our brains process sugar, or glucose, to provide energy for our brains – this process is known as glycolysis.

Scientists have found that people who are less efficient at this process suffer more severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Higher amounts of glucose in the brain and a slower rate of glycolysis are associated with problems with memory, however it’s not known whether being bad at glycolysis worsens or even causes Alzheimer’s. This build-up of sugar in the brain could simply be something that happens alongside Alzheimer’s. 

While the relationship between glucose in the brain and decreased memory function is clear, more research is needed to determine the reasons behind poor sugar metabolism.
 
What we do know though is that too much sugar is definitely not doing you any favours. Luckily, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your daily sugar intake, such as trying sugar alternatives or avoiding foods with added sugar.

For more ideas on how to cut back the sugar, read my article on sugar substitutes here.

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