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Adding Fuel to the Fire: A link between sugar and Alzheimer's?

At this point I'm sure its clear I like to share what patients find and have questions about. The latest article a patient shared with me is pretty interesting its titled, "The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer's." The article has a juicy title to pull in readers but here at HTC we're more concerned about what's beneath the surface, where the findings come from and how those findings came to be determined......Lets dive in and see what we can find. 

 

The article starts by highlighting a large study that followed 5,189 people over a 10 year period that showed correlation with high blood sugar and faster cognitive decline as compared to those with normal blood sugar levels. 

  • This information comes from a study titled: HbA1c, diabetes and cognitive decline: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. 
  • Authors: Fanfan ZhengLi YanZhenchun YangBaoliang ZhongWuxiang Xie

o    Data: data were collected from 2004-2015 in different waves over this period of time. A baseline cognitive function was assessed then reassessed every 2 years. Data was used to produce linear mixed models to evaluate longitudinal associations. 

o    Results: Results show a significant longitudinal association between HbA1c levels, diabetes status and long-term cognitive decline. This means there was an increase in cognitive decline with the increase of HbA1c levels. 

>>>>>>Good study with long term data collection<<<<<<<<<<

 

The article goes on to share information on articles correlating diabetes with increased risk of Alzheimer's and the increase of carbohydrate intake with increased risk of Alzheimer's leaving the reader to question is diabetes to blame for the increased risk of Alzheimer's or is it the carbohydrate intake. After reading the article and research studies referenced I would argue that there is a clear correlation between poorly controlled blood sugars with an increased risk of Alzheimer's no matter the stage or form or diabetes. 

 

So why does this matter for those who don't have diabetes. Well hopefully this adds fuel to the fire for avoiding the processed foods high in simple carbs in the common western diet. Sugar is a spark in the diet that fuels the body for a history inflammation and the increased health risks that are bound to build as time goes on. The less we can see sugar as part of a normal/regular component of the diet the healthier we will be. 

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