YHealth: Remember Sugar?

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A new study led by Dr. Scott Kanoski from the University of Southern California finds a common link between drinking sweetened beverages during youth to faulty memory in adulthood.

Well, well, well… this simply equates to a whole heap of trouble for Millennial’s! Most certainly Y’s were the first generation to have had the milk in their bottles swapped out for Soda Pop… for all practical purposes Y’s were born with the distinct talent of deciphering Pepsi from Coke and Sprite from 7Up. This study released Tuesday has brought to light the pickle we have been left in!

Results will be formally presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Seattle in the coming days. The Goal: linking all aspects of eating and drinking sugar-sweetened drinks, within the realm that is daily consumption of beverages. Using high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, morphs these chemicals and sugar derivatives into harmful ailments for your body, impairing the human bodies ability to learn and retain information.

If you, like me, are wondering how exactly the USC Team made this discovery, you will be interested to know they used our furry little adolescent rat friends. As the rats were fed sugary liquid concoctions (much like the average soft drink), they uncovered how they became less and less capable to perform routine tasks requiring the use of their spatial memory.

The results of the investigation through the rat tests prove the consumption of drinks with sweetened additives, such as: sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup during adolescence (the rats were given sweetened concoctions mirroring the sugar elevations found in soft drinks) impaired the cognitive learning and memory capability of the animals… yet, when consumed for just one month, they performed normally!

Dr. Kanoski goes on to decipher our common knowledge that refined carbohydrates can lead to metabolic disturbances. But, these new findings go on to reveal the details directly linking consuming these drinks to interference with the brain’s ability to remember critical information.

“In addition to causing memory impairment, adolescent sugar-sweetened beverage consumption also produced inflammation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls many learning and memory functions… The hippocampus is such a critical brain region for memory function… In many ways this region is a canary in the coal mine, as it is particularly sensitive to insult by various environmental factors, including eating foods that are high in saturated fat and processed sugar.”

-Dr. Kanoski