Eating too much processed sugar increases your risk of Alzheimer’s

Research has found that a high intake of processed sugar can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, revealed that high sugar levels caused by excessive consumption of processed sugars can damage an essential enzyme called macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which is associated with inflammation in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to research, people with diabetes are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, which develops as a result of the buildup of abnormal proteins that form plaque and clog the parts of the brain. In turn, these clogs continuously damage the brain, leading to serious cognitive problems. However, although previous research discovered that cellular proteins are harmed by glucose and its products through glycation, the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and sugar is not yet completely understood.

Thus, researchers from the University of Bath and Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King’s College Londonboth in the U.K., looked at the brain samples of people with and without Alzheimer’s disease by using a method that helps identify the process of glycation.

Results revealed that during the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease, glycation damages the MIF enzyme, which is essential in regulating insulin levels and the immune response. MIF also plays a role in the reaction of glial brain cells to the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease. thereby, the researchers suspect that the decrease and prevention of MIF activity due to glycation could be the beginning of the progression of the disease. It also seems that glycation of these enzymes increases as Alzheimer’s advances.

Therefore, the researchers concluded that since sugar damage can reduce the functioning of MIF, this could be a primary risk factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (Related: The dangers of ingesting processed sugar.)

Tips to avoid indulging in processed sugars

Eating too much sugar does not only increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but also other diseases, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and tooth decay. Thus, it really is important to cut your sugar intake. Some experts recommend that the daily added sugar intake should not exceed six teaspoons or 25 grams (g) for women and nine teaspoons or 37 g for men. Here are some tips you can try to cut your sugar intake:

  • Avoid sugary drinks: Instead of drinking sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, opt for lower-sugar drink options. These include water, sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, herbal or fruit teas, unsweetened tea, and black or flat white coffee. Avoiding sugary drinks can greatly reduce your sugar intake and could help you lose weight.
  • Avoid sugary desserts: Most desserts like cakes, pies, and ice cream are packed with sugar. If you are craving something sweet, opt for fresh fruit, Greek yogurt with cinnamon or fruit, baked fruit with cream, dark chocolate, or dates. These alternatives not only cut your sugar intake, but also increase your fiber, vitamin, and mineral intake.
  • Read labels carefully: Sometimes, added sugars can be difficult to identify as current food labels don’t differentiate between natural sugars and added sugars. Therefore, you will have to check the ingredients list and note the order in which sugar appears on the list because ingredients are listed in order of the highest percentage first. Added sugar is also disguised in other names, making it more difficult to identify. Here are some of the most common names: high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or juice, maltose, dextrose, invert sugar, rice syrup, molasses, and caramel.

Read more news stories and studies on the harmful effects of processed sugar by going to

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