Could you actually be eating your way to Alzheimer’s disease?
If you still haven’t ditched fructose from your diet, you just may be.
For years I’ve been warning you that fructose – especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – has been linked to everything from heart attacks to liver disease to cancer.
Now researchers from UCLA have found that fructose may have been doing more harm to our brains than we ever realized.
And they’ve discovered a simple step you can take – starting today – that may help reverse some of the damage.
The fact that fructose is like poison for your brain isn’t exactly front-page news.
I mean, we’ve known forever that it’s practically a wrecking ball for every part of the body it touches.
But what was really frightening about this new UCLA research is just how quickly the damage occurs.
Researchers spent six weeks feeding rats water spiked with fructose – about the equivalent of what a person would get from drinking a liter of soda a day.
And just a month and a half was all it took to turn those little rat brains to mush.
The rats on fructose lost their ability to remember things. It was taking them twice as long to navigate a maze they’d already learned.
And here’s the worst part – the fructose caused the exact same damage in rat brains that we usually see with ADHD and even Alzheimer’s!
Again, this was after just six weeks. Just think how many years most people have spent scarfing down sweetened sodas and processed foods loaded with fructose.
Now, it isn’t often that one of these fructose studies actually produces a sliver of good news. But, fortunately, this one did.
Researchers found that you could actually prevent – and maybe even reverse – some of the damage fructose does to your brain, just by supplementing with DHA.
Yep, just plain old DHA – that omega-3 fatty acid you can find in fish oil and other supplements.
We’ve known for ages that omega-3s like DHA protect our brains and can even improve our ability to learn and remember things.
And it looks like DHA can block some of the effects of fructose on our brains, too.
When rats were fed a combination of fructose and DHA, they were able to complete their maze just as well as before – and their brains stayed mostly free from damage.
Now, don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean that as long as you’re taking DHA, you can load up on fructose.
This stuff is still toxic for just about every organ in your body.
Rather, if you’re looking to give your brain health a boost – especially if you’ve consumed your share of fructose over the years — adding more DHA to your diet may be a smart idea.
You can get DHA in certain fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. It’s also widely available as a supplement or in fish oil formulations.
And if you haven’t ditched fructose from your diet yet, there’s no time like the present. If you see fructose, HFCS, or agave (which is 100 percent fructose) on a food label, you’re better off not eating it.
“Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases” Stuart Wolpert, April 21, 2016, UCLA Newsroom, newsroom.ucla.edu