The Shocking Effects of Sugar on the Brain

Americans consume over 150 pounds of sugar a year, equivalent to around 6 cups a week, and approximately a third of that is added sugar. It’s processed, unnatural, and potentially unhealthy.

We’ve all heard about the effects of sugar on physical health. You probably know that it can cause weight gain, liver problems, diabetes, and a host of other issues. But did you know that excessive consumption of added sugar could also impact your mental and emotional health?

When we developed ACTIVATE, our goal was to create a natural, healthy energy source that didn’t contain any sugar. We’re aware of just how harmful this substance can be in large quantities, with research suggesting that it could increase the risk of…

 

Memory Problems and Inflammation

In 2015, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) studied the effects of sugar consumption in adolescent rats.

The rats were split into three groups.

The first group was given a sucrose (AKA table sugar) solution. The second group was given high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and the final group was given water to act as the control.

The rats were given 30 days to freely consume the substances and at the end of the trial, they completed a series of tests. Their spatial learning and memory were tested using Barnes Maze, and researchers noted significant impairments in both the sucrose and HFCS groups.

The sucrose group fared much better than the HFCS group, but both were impaired while the control group performed as expected.

The sugar-consuming rats ate around a third of their calories in added sugars. Not only did it impact their learning and memory, but it also increased neuroinflammatory markers.

The good news is that there were no notable changes in adult rats. The bad news is that high-sugar diets are very common in young Americans and if these results transfer to humans, it could lead to generations of underdeveloped minds.

 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is currently the fifth biggest killer in the United States. It’s a problem that seems to be getting worse and one that we don’t fully understand.

Alzheimer’s disease kills more people than diabetes and has an impact that extends into all generations—if you’ve seen a loved one succumb to the disease, those memories will never leave you.

It has always been thought that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and a study published by Charité University Medical Center supported these claims.

Researchers looked at short- and long-term glucose markers in a large group of nondiabetic adults and tasked them with completing memory tests. They also assessed the structure of the participants’ brains and noted that higher levels of glucose were directly correlated with worse memory and a smaller hippocampus.

Although no concrete conclusions were made regarding sugar consumption and dementia risk, the head author of the study said that the results of the study, “provide further evidence that glucose might directly contribute to hippocampal atrophy.”

The suggestion is that higher blood sugar can impact brain function, potentially impacting memory and leading to long-term memory conditions. It doesn’t mean that enjoying a few spoonfulls in your morning coffee will doom you to a lifetime of forgetfulness, but it’s cause for concern and will likely lead to future studies on the subject.

 

Depression

Unlike Alzheimer’s Disease, depression is not something that can be easily measured by looking at statistics regarding death and disease. It can lead to fatal outcomes—suicide is one of the ten biggest killers in the United States—but many people suffer in silence.

Depression can be triggered by life events, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or even the breakdown of a career. But it can also be caused by chemical changes in the brain, and an increasing number of studies are suggesting that diet may play a role, as well.

Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Higher levels of BDNF are thought to be one of the reasons behind the aforementioned memory issues, as BDNF is essential for the formation of new memories. It has also been linked with higher rates of depression.

There could be other factors at play, as well. If you’re struggling with your short-term memory, you’re more likely to get frustrated and angry, and could feel depressed as a result of these issues or the problems that they cause in your life.

Sugar consumption is also closely correlated with obesity and binge eating, and in a society obsessed with body image and perceived healthiness, it’s easy to see how that might make someone depressed.

The anecdotal evidence supports these beliefs, too. If you have ever subsisted on a diet of highly processed foods and candies for several days—whether you’re binging on Halloween candy or overeating at Thanksgiving—you can attest to just how tired, lethargic, grumpy, and sad that you feel.

It’s a direct result of the nutrients—or lack thereof—that you’re consuming, and if you extrapolate those feelings over the long term, it’s easy to see why depression and other negative feelings are so closely connected to high-sugar diets.

 

Summary: The Dangers of Added Sugar

Sugar is added to coffee, tea, and cereal; it’s in fast food and processed food. It’s everywhere, and whether you know it or not, you’re probably consuming unhealthy quantities of the sweet stuff every day. If you want to stay healthy, you need to consume as little added sugar as you can. And if you can’t let go of the energy boost that sugar can provide, check out ACTIVATE.

ACTIVATE feeds and optimizes your brain, giving it fuel to thrive. It’s completely sugar- and caffeine-free, which means all of that energy is 100% clean, natural, and guilt-free.

Buy your supply of UBN ACTIVATE today.

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