In a recent but small study, it was found that diabetes and memory may be connected through the food that people consume. The study found that if people suffering from diabetes consumed food that was rich in fat, they had poor memory and also performed badly in cognitive tests. However, if the same people consumed vitamins and also ate food with high fat content, the negative effect of the diet was not seen. This is truly an interesting study and is sure to get the scientific fraternity interested.
Blood Flow to the Brain and Diabetes
Researchers know for a long time that when the flow of blood to the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain, reduces, it can result in short term memory loss, which is often due to aging. However, researchers associated with the Columbia University Medical Center found that the reduce flow of blood to the hippocampus is connected to high levels of sugar in the blood. According to the researchers, the reduction in the flow of blood to the hippocampus region of brain is evident even when a person has moderately high levels of sugar in the blood. The researchers reckon this could be the explanation why people suffer from cognitive problems as they age. The body is unable to properly regulate the levels of blood sugar as a person ages and this inability only worsens with time and age.
Brain and Sugar
The brain requires sugar from the blood for its functioning. If the blood sugars dip extremely low, the person will have problems in learning, remembering and paying attention. On the other hand, if the sugar levels of the blood increase and are maintained at that those levels, the pancreas will constantly be producing insulin to metabolize the sugar. This, unfortunately, results in inflammation as well as oxidative stress and causes the brain to age prematurely. While sugar can improve cognitive working of the brain when blood sugar levels are normal, excessive blood sugar can make the brain age prematurely.
Ways to Prevent Premature Aging of the Brain
Ensure that you reduce your sugar as well as refined carbohydrate intake. It is best to get your carbohydrate needs from consuming veggies, whole grains and fruits. Also consume food with high fiber content, as this helps to keep glucose levels in the blood normal and also decreases the urge to eat more carbohydrates. It is also advisable to eat proteins, as this causes the liver to manufacture glucagons, which reduces the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the blood. Consuming foods containing Omega-3 essential fatty acids also helps to maintain the right balance of sugar in the blood. Besides diet, pay attention to your exercise. Regular exercise can help increase the body’s insulin sensitivity and ensure that glucose is metabolized in a healthy manner.
It has also been observed that constant and prolonged stress can adversely affect the working of the hippocampus, which again can cause problems with cognitive skills. Hence, learning to manage stress and doing relaxation exercises will go a long way in preventing the brain from aging prematurely.
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