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Too Much Sugar Over the Holidays? It may affect your brain!

Crosby Chiropractic St. Peters

Too Much Sugar Over the Holidays? It may affect your brain!

We all know that eating all those holiday goodies can have a detrimental effect to
our waistline, our cholesterol and our blood sugar. But did you know that it can
affect your brain too?
A strong link is being developed by researchers who link Alzheimer's to diabetes.
The diabetes they are linking it to is being called Type 3 diabetes (although this is
not an official term), which is different from Type 1 diabetes (the autoimmune
diabetes which affects 10% of diabetics) and Type 2 diabetes (which now impacts
about one-third of adults and is epidemic in children due to the amount of sugar
we consume in this country).
Type 3 diabetes as a concept has existed since 2005, but has becoming more
convincing as the connection between poor diet and Alzheimer's is validated with
very persuasive studies linking Alzheimer's, vascular dementia and other cognitive
impairments to impaired sugar metabolism.
Our bodies need insulin to help cells use sugar (glucose) for energy. Once cells
have all the sugar they need the excess sugar is first stored in the liver and when
the liver is full of sugar, we store it as fat. Blood sugar comes from sugar and
carbohydrates.
Insulin not only helps cells obtain sugar but also keeps blood vessels, (including
those to the brain) healthy. Low insulin levels mean reduced brain function
because sugar in the form of glucose can't get into the neurons.
Chronically high insulin levels, either destroy the pancreas, reducing insulin levels,
or leave the pancreas overproducing insulin. When insulin is high for long periods
of times, cells desensitize to the insulin and ignore it, leaving them unable to
absorb blood sugar. So both high and low insulin over time result in neurons
being starved of energy.

When brain cells become insulin resistant, memory loss, disorientation, and
personality changes may occur. With chronic insulin resistance, proteins called
beta amyloid plaques, develop in the brain, impairing brain function.
The Key to Good Memory May Reside in your Food Choices!
Researchers have already established that people with diabetes are at least twice
as likely to get Alzheimer's and that obesity alone increases the risk of impaired
brain function. Although diabetes doesn't "cause" Alzheimer's, they both require
the overconsumption of foods that impair insulin's many roles.
If you smoke and have high blood pressure, chronic inflammation and are
prediabetic or diabetic you increase your risk of Alzheimer's.
The link between diet and Alzheimer's should have you raising the bar on those
New Year's resolutions about diet! Seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables
a day, lean meats, complex carbohydrates and very little processed or packaged
food is a SANE diet. The standard American diet (the SAD diet) will leave you SAD
when your physical or cognitive health fails.
How can you modify your diet for 2014?
Use xylitol or stevia as a sweetener.
Exercise to support healthy blood sugar and enhance brain function.
Use supplements such as chromium picolinate, cinnamon and gymnema sylvestre
to support blood sugar.
Chromium reduces glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C), which is a measure of
blood sugar control, as well as fasting blood glucose levels.
 Gymnema sylvestre  reduces HbA1C levels.
Cinnamon improves fasting blood glucose.

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