Could your memory loss be caused by this common ingredient?
I rarely walk down the aisles at the supermarket – because all the fresh meats and vegetables are along the perimeter of the store – but every now and then, something catches my eye as I’m walking by, and I pick it up to have a look.
It never fails: The list of ingredients reads like a bag of Scrabble letters, full of unpronounceable concoctions that do unspeakable things to your body.
Some packaged foods could use those “black box” warning labels that the FDA requires on risky prescription meds.
But there’s one ingredient you’ll find in many of your favorite treats with a relatively innocent-sounding name that can carve a dastardly path through your body: high fructose corn syrup.
It practically sounds HEALTHY!
But in a study out of UCLA, researchers found that fructose can actually damage HUNDREDS of genes in the brain – and, as a result, impair memory.
Can you imagine the terror of getting lost in your own neighborhood? Because that’s exactly what happened to a group of lab rats.
Researchers trained rats to escape a maze and then split them into three groups:
- One given water that contained enough fructose to equal a regular sized person drinking
about a liter of soda daily
- Another given the fructose water and fed a diet rich in DHA
- A control group given plain water and no DHA
After six weeks, the rats were put through the maze again, and the results were startling. The fructose group took TWICE as long to get out as the control group, even though they’d received the same prior training – and subsequent brain mapping showed that 1000 genes in their brains had been altered.
Not surprisingly, the fructose-fed rats also showed high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, and high glucose – all precursors to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
But there is some good news here, because according to the new study, the effects of HFCS can be reversed…with good old fashioned fish oil.
Rats that were given an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, DHA, with the fructose were able to navigate the maze just as well as the control group that hadn’t ingested any fructose at all.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you can drink all the sugary soda you want, take a fish oil supplement, and call it a day. Although DHA may be able to lessen brain fog – as well as reduce triglycerides, thin the blood, and balance out the lipids in your blood – this study was on rodents and not humans.
There’s no evidence yet as to whether DHA could counteract a LIFETIME of mainlining high fructose corn syrup.
So, in addition to taking your daily fish oil, try switching to the high-protein, low-sugar diet of our caveman ancestors. The Paleo Diet does allow fruit, but natural fructose isn’t nearly as harmful as the sugary syrup made from corn starch.