Did you hear about this?!
We all know (much to my dismay)that sugar, if eaten to excess, has the capacity to lead to insulin resistance, hyper-activity in kids and a host of other health related problems, but a recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine found that the sweet, sweet stuff could actually affect the way our noggin works, the way we use basic cognitive processes like problem-solving, learning and memory retention.
The two researchers came up with an experiment in which they trained a group of rats on a complicated labyrinth of a maze twice a day for five days.
But I digress…
After the rats were trained in the maze, the researchers split them into two groups. They gave both groups of rats a high-fructose corn syrup solution instead of water, but one of the groups was also given a mixture of flaxseed oil and, excuse my fancy shmancy wording here, docosahexaenoic acid (aka DHA) — two high-quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that are known to protect us against neural damage.
After six weeks of the super sugary diet (I wouldn’t want to see those rat’s dentist bill after that), the researchers reintroduced the maze. They found that group of rats who only were given the sweet stuff had a much harder time recalling the maze and were slower in their problem solving. The group of rats that were given the sugar-and-omega-3 cocktail did much better.
What the two researchers found from this experiment was that a high-sugar diet is bad for the brain for the same reason it’s harmful to the body: too much of that darn delicious fructose disrupts production of the hormone insulin, which is used by the body to regulate blood sugar. Steady blood sugar levels are essential to provide energy for things like walking, running, doing cartwheels and busting a move on the dance floor — but they’re also needed for things like recalling and problem-solving.
In lamens terms, what this study concluded essentially, was that sugar can make us stupid.
If this is true, my IQ just dropped a bajillion points.
Baby Ruth: One of the smartest (not to mention greatest ball players) guys, on and off the diamond. You have to be to be able to tell when that ball screaming 90 MPH towards you is a slider or a knuckle ball.
3 Musketeers: The “All for one, and one for all” gang didn’t siege and then save the residents of Paris with just luck. On no my friends, they weren’t the least bit airy in the head, if you know what I mean.
And before you say anything, I know there are those little pops some would call Dum-Dums, but without the ‘b’, they don’t technically qualify as a ‘dumb dumb’. Right?
Do I really think that sugar can make you stupid?
But I do think that what these researchers complemented was that too much of a good thing is never a good thing. I probably have the biggest sweet
tooth teeth around, and I am not going to stop indulging in some of that fructose when I feel like it, but I am going to make sure that I balance my diet out a bit with some, yes, veggies, fruits, and other good-for-you eats. Everything in moderation is what I say. Rock a little balance in your life and you’re golden.
Those lost IQ points? TOTALLY worth it 😉
Questions of the day:
Do you think that sugar really makes you stupid?
Do you have a sweet tooth? And if you do, what is your go-to sugary fix?
I have many a sweet tooth and my go-to fix? That would have to be anything cookie, ice cream, and chocolate related. Oh…and a little Twizzler action, cupcakes are my friend and I never met a Starburst or Skittle I didn’t like 😉