According to a new study published in the Journal of Physiology (http://jp.physoc.org/content/early/2012/03/31/jphysiol.2012.230078.abstract),
the American diet is laden with staggering amounts of sugar and high
fructose corn syrup. Between soft drinks, candies,
desserts, and processed foods the average American’s consumption of high
fructose corn syrup amounts to roughly 35 pounds in a year, with cane
sugar totaling another 47 pounds. Volumes of published research has
shown a direct connection between these sugars and metabolic conditions
such as obesity, elevated triglycerides and diabetes, however there is
no data on such high sugar intake and its impact on mental health.
Over a five-day period, researchers Fernando Gomez-Pinilla and
Rahul Agrawal, from the University of California at Los Angeles, trained
two groups of rats, twice a day, to navigate a maze. Then, for a
subsequent six-week period, the rats were fed a fructose solution in
place of drinking water, while the second group was also given the
omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and flaxseed oil (a rich
source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, which mammals convert less
efficiently to DHA). Considering brain tissue is roughly 40% DHA,
researchers observed that the chemical connections between brain cells
effecting learning and memory might be protected from the perceived
“dumbing” effects of fructose by the omega-3 fatty acids.
After six weeks, the researchers tested the rats in their ability
to recall landmarks that enabled them to navigate the maze and escape.
The omega-3 fed group was able to recall the exit route and escape
the maze faster than the group receiving only sugar. The brains of the
rats were later examined. The rats fed only fructose had
brains exhibiting signs of declined synaptic activity, as well as signs
of insulin resistance, which regulates synaptic function and controls
blood sugar. The scientists concluded that diets high in
sugar and high fructose corn syrup disrupt memory and learning, however
omega-3 fatty acids can help, at least partly, offset the disruption.
According to researcher Gomez-Pinilla, one gram per day of Omega-3
fatty acids can protect the brain from fructose’s “dumbing” effects.
“It’s like saving money in the bank,” he said in a statement. “You want
to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to
fight off future diseases.”
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Source: Journal of Physiology
“Metabolic Syndrome” in the brain: Deficiency in omega-3 fatty
acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition
Fernando Gomez-Pinilla and Rahul Agrawal
About Great HealthWorks, Inc.
Great HealthWorks, founded in 2003, is a global manufacturer and
distributor of one-of-a-kind, natural products. Great HealthWorks, the
makers of Omega XL, an all-natural, highly purified marine lipid extract
from the green-lipped mussel (Perna Canaliculus) known as PCSO-524™.
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