Dentists have long warned that too much sugar can rot a person’s teeth, but scientists at UCLA have discovered evidence that too much soda and candy could also rot a person’s brain.
The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of Physiology, discovered how a diet that is “steadily high” in fructose can slow down the function of the brain, impairing memory and learning ability, the Los Angeles-based university said in a May 15 press release. Those adverse effects, they say, can emerge in as little as six week’s time, but can be counteracted to some degree by adding omega-3 fatty acids to one’s diet.
“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, one of the authors of the study and a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said in a statement. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage.”
“We’re not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,” Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science as well as a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center, added. “We’re concerned about high-fructose corn syrup that is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.”