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The Effect of Sugar on Cognitive Ability

The Effect of Sugar on Cognitive Ability

Sugar, Sugar (da da da da da da) oh, honey, honey…….

My boys and their lovely wives all made the trek back to Texas for the holidays; what a wonderful time we had being together.

Small talk as we played a board game, and Sarah mentioned that her grandmother “read the ingredients on every single thing she ever bought, and if it had more than 3 grams of sugar in it, she wouldn’t eat it.” She’s 98, and still reading labels. “She wouldn’t eat it, but she was always making us cookies and treats.” I guess that’s one way to make sure you stay smarter than your kids.

That got me thinking about a few things, one of which was I need to lose some weight! But just recently I had run across an article in Translational Psychiatry, “Gut microbial taxa elevated by dietary sugar disrupt memory function.” Click here for the full article.

Several earlier articles had implicated gut microbiome as a modulating factor in neurocognitive development and functioning, so this is not the first time sugar has been beaten down. Yep, all the things we love, known as Western dietary factors (foods rich in saturated fatty acids and added sugar) seem to be at the core of many of our problems; obesity we know about, and truly obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., and not just for we adults; the kiddos, too, are eating all the good stuff, too much fat and sugar, and this research team anyway believes it is impairing their cognitive abilities. See the CDC map here:

Map of Self Reported Obesity in the US in 2020

So as the new year arrives: moderation, moderation, moderation, even for the kiddos. Especially the kiddos. Or as the old proverb goes:

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

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