Sugar Shrinks Brain and Affects Memory
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Sugar Shrinks Brain And Affects Memory

Sugar Shrinks Brain And Affects Memory. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a press release from the Food For The Brain Foundation. Recent research has revealed that sugar consumption can harm our brains. The study suggests that sugar can cause a decline in brain size and negatively impact memory, increasing the likelihood of developing dementia. This new information emphasises the importance of being mindful of sugar intake and its impact on our overall health and well-being.

Sugar Shrinks Brain And Affects the Memory

In the 1980s, sugar was thought to give you extra energy. Lucozade, a liquid form of glucose, was advertised as ‘energy for the human race.’

Yet, new studies show that too much glucose, especially fructose, starves the brain’s energy over time, leading to memory loss and shrinkage. These two sugars interfere with the energy factories within cells, called mitochondria, and deprive the brain of the energy it needs to function correctly.

The link between diabetes and dementia is well known – those with diabetes have four times the risk of dementia.

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a long-term measure of glucose bound to red blood cells (haemoglobin) used by doctors to diagnose diabetes and monitor its therapy. HbA1c is a measure of damage produced by sugar spikes on red blood cells; an HbA1c of 6.5% or more is diagnostic of diabetes. But long before this, in what is usually considered the ‘normal range’, teenagers with HbA1c above 5.4% show cognitive decline and shrinkage of the hippocampus in the central area of the brain compared to those with lower HbA1c levels.[1]

Shrinkage of the hippocampus is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s and is used to diagnose the disease. A new study shows that 40-year-old adults with so-called normal glucose levels, but at the higher end of the normal range, have increased their risk of Alzheimer’s by 15%.[2]

Furthermore, “In teenagers with raised, but normal levels of HbA1c, there is clear evidence of the same kind of memory problems and the same areas of brain shrinkage seen in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease”, says Robert Lustig, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco.

“Keeping your HbA1c below 5.4% with a no-added-sugar diet and, for some, a low-carbohydrate diet, is one of the most direct ways you can protect your brain at any age,” says Lustig.

Home Pinprick Blood Test

The dementia prevention charity has launched a home pinprick blood test to measure HbA1c. “Insulin resistance, the direct consequence of too much glucose in the bloodstream, ends up leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, starving the brain of energy with consequent loss of concentration and memory.” says nutritionist and psychologist Patrick Holford, CEO of the charity.

“We are calling for people to test their cognitive function with our free online test and measure their HbA1c with a home test kit so we can find out when problems occur and how to prevent cognitive decline.”

Over 400,000 people have taken the charity’s free online cognitive function test, which tells you your future dementia risk and how to reduce it.

Professor Robert Lustig thinks the problem got even worse when the food industry switched from sucrose, derived from cane, to high-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn; “High-fructose corn syrup is not more biologically evil; it’s economically evil because it’s half the price of sucrose, so it found its way into all sorts of foods.”

“Too much fructose is dumbing us down. It’s also linked to aggressive behaviour…

The key message is to test HbA1c early if it is over 5.4% and act to bring it down by cutting right back on foods and drinks with added sugar, including carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and especially fruit juice. Nature never provides fructose without the requisite fibre. When God made the poison, he packaged it with the antidote. Eat your fruit, don’t drink it.” says Lustig.

I hope you enjoyed that.

Talk soon.


The Food for the Brain Foundation ( is an educational and research charity on dementia prevention. The Cognitive Function Test is a free online tool that validates your cognitive abilities. It is followed by the Dementia Risk Index questionnaire, which evaluates eight factors responsible for dementia, including ‘brain fats’ and ‘low carbs & GL’. This assessment helps identify people who consume too many carbs and insufficient brain fat. The tool then advises them on what to do.



Yau PL, et al. Obesity and metabolic syndrome and functional and structural brain impairments in adolescence. Pediatrics. 2012


[1] Zhang X et al. Midlife lipid and glucose levels are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2023



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