Sugary drinks as a child can lead to memory problems later in life, research suggests

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How Sugar May Affect Your Child’s BRAIN: A Diet Full of Sweet Treats Early Could Lead to Memory Problems, Study Warns

  • Researchers gave adolescent rats a drink similar to human sugary soda
  • They then tested the rodents’ memory when they reached adulthood
  • They found that rats that drank sugary drinks had memory problems
  • Researchers found that the drinks alter the gut microbiome and this leads to genetic changes in the hippocampus

Children who drink sugary drinks are at an increased risk of memory problems later in life, according to a new study.

American researchers gave rats a sugary drink and then, when they were adults, had them run two memory tests to compare how they performed.

They found that the hippocampus, an area of ​​the brain that is an integral part of memory function, was affected in soda-fed rodents and this led to memory problems.

The researchers think the drink changes an individual’s gut microbiome, and this in turn changes the genes in the hippocampus that affect function.

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US researchers gave rats a sugary drink and then, when they were adults, gave them two memory tests to compare how they performed

US researchers gave rats a sugary drink and then, when they were adults, gave them two memory tests to compare how they performed

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

The amount of sugar a person should eat per day depends on how old they are.

Children from four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19 g per day.

Seven to 10 year olds should have no more than 24 g and children 11 and older 30 g or less.

Meanwhile, the NHS recommends that adults consume no more than 30g of free sugars per day.

Rats were fed either a diet of water or water supplemented with an equivalent of carbonated pop that was sold in stores.

“ Sugar consumption in early life appears to selectively impair their hippocampal learning and memory, ” said lead author Dr. Emily Noble from the University of Georgia.

Gut microbiome analysis in the rats also revealed that the consumption of sweetened beverages had been adversely affected.

The sugar drinkers had larger populations of two specific types of gut bacteria: Parabacteroides distasonis and Parabacteroides johnsonii.

They gave injected bacteria to rats who had never drunk sugary drinks and found that they also developed hippocampus-related memory problems.

This, the researchers believe, is evidence that the cognitive impairment of carbonated drinks results from the drink changing an individual’s gut microbiome.

“ It was surprising to us that we could essentially replicate the memory impairments associated with sugar consumption, not by transferring the entire microbiome, but simply by enriching a single bacterial population in the gut, ” said Dr. Scott Kanoski, co. author of the University of Southern California study.

Children who drink sugary drinks are at an increased risk of memory problems later in life, according to a new study

Children who drink sugary drinks are at an increased risk of memory problems later in life, according to a new study

Children who drink sugary drinks are at an increased risk of memory problems later in life, according to a new study

The researchers then studied the genes in the rats’ brains and found that they were different if they had been given sugary drinks.

The genes that were affected determine how nerve cells transmit electrical signals to other nerve cells and how they transmit molecular signals internally.

Although the study was conducted on rats, the researchers believe the findings may apply to humans as well.

In future studies, the team hopes to determine whether changing habits, such as eating healthier or exercising more, can reverse the damage to memory caused by increased sugar consumption earlier in life.

The study is published in the journal Translational Psychiatrand.

The amount of sugar a person should eat per day depends on how old they are, according to the NHS.

Children from four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19 g per day.

Seven to 10 year olds should have no more than 24 g and children 11 and older 30 g or less.

Meanwhile, the NHS recommends that adults consume no more than 30g of free sugars per day.

Consuming foods and drinks with added sugars DOUBLES fat production in the liver

Swiss scientists have warned that consuming foods and drinks with even moderate amounts of added sugars doubles fat production in the liver.

They found that drinking 80 grams of sugar – about the equivalent of two cans of Coca-Cola – daily caused the increase.

Coca-Cola contains fructose and sucrose, which promote hepatic lipogenesis – the synthesis of fatty acids around the liver – even in small amounts, the experts found.

Worryingly, fat production in the liver still continues even after sugar consumption has stopped, experts say, and it could increase the risk of fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

“Eighty grams of sugar per day, which is the equivalent of about 0.8 liters of a normal soft drink, stimulates fat production in the liver,” says study author Philipp Gerber of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition at UZH.

‘And the production of overactive fat continues for longer, even when no more sugar is consumed.’

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is in many sweetened drinks and added in the form of high fructose corn syrup, especially in the US.

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