(Natural News) Many people eat foods rich in sugar while they are studying to stay awake. However, recent studies have shown that too much sugar is actually bad for brain health. A group of German researchers published a paper in the journal Neurology that established a direct relationship between elevated sugar levels and reduced brain size.
The body uses glucose from food as its primary source of energy. However, there is a limit to how much sugar the body can actually utilize. If too much of it is present in the body, they will remain in the bloodstream since the cells have enough supply already. This condition is commonly observed in patients who suffer from diabetes or resistance to insulin, a hormone responsible for absorbing sugar from the blood. Patients without these conditions can also suffer from elevated glucose levels due to their lifestyle.
High blood sugar level can lead to diseases like stroke, heart disease, eye damage, and nerve damage. Recently, researchers discovered that it also causes the shrinking of the hippocampus, which is the brain region responsible for memory. Shrinkage of this area is associated with cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Moreover, the authors of the study also observed that people who had lower blood sugar levels have better memory and ability to learn new information.
Overall, this study showed that elevated sugar levels can cause irreversible brain shrinkage. This further highlights the importance of regulating glucose levels since too much of it can cause Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with many other diseases. (Related: Diet and specific nutrients prevent brain shrinkage and lower Alzheimer’s disease risk.)
Regulating blood sugar levels
It is important to take precautionary steps to avoid having too much sugar in the bloodstream, especially since brain shrinkage cannot be reversed. In addition, too little sugar is also bad for the body and can induce coma or death. Healthy blood sugar levels should fall between 40 to 100 mg per deciliter. There are many ways to keep blood sugar levels in check. These include the following:
- Exercise regularly — Physical activity doesn’t just help you lose weight, it also makes the body more responsive to insulin activity. This allows sugar to go to the cells that need it instead of staying in the bloodstream. Some exercises that you can try out are weightlifting, brisk walking, running, biking, and swimming.
- Reduce carb intake — The body gets sugars from foods rich in carbohydrates so when you eat too much of these, insulin activity fails and sugar levels increase. Keeping track of the carbs you eat can help you know when you’ve had too much.
- Stay hydrated — Increasing fluid intake helps the kidneys get rid of excess sugars through the urine. It’s best to drink water over sweetened drinks like juices since these could increase sugar levels, promote weight gain, and increase diabetes risk.
- Manage stress — When a person is stressed, the body releases hormones called glucagon and cortisol that can actually cause sugar levels to increase. To reduce stress levels, you can try out yoga or meditation, which can also improve insulin production.
- Get enough sleep — Lack of sleep can cause sugar levels to go up and reduces insulin sensitivity. Moreover, people who are deprived of sleep also eat more and have higher cortisol levels. By getting adequate sleep, you can keep blood sugar at a healthy level.
Visit Brain.news for more articles about factors that affect brain functions.