Sweetened beverages can impair memory

New York, July 30 (IANS): Limit your sugar-sweetened beverage intake if you are a teenager. An alarming study shows that daily consumption of beverages can impair your ability to learn and remember.

Most of the beverages are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose.

In experiments over rats, researchers found that adult rats who consumed the sugar-sweetened beverages for one month performed normally in tests of cognitive function.

However, when consumption occurred during adolescence, rats were impaired in tests of learning and memory capability.

It is no secret that refined carbohydrates, particularly when consumed in soft drinks and other beverages, can lead to metabolic disturbances.

"Our findings reveal that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks is also interfering with our brain's ability to function normally and remember critical information about our environment, at least when consumed in excess before adulthood," warned Scott Kanoski from University of Southern California in US.

In addition to causing memory impairment, adolescent sugar-sweetened beverage consumption also produced inflammation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls many learning and memory functions.

"The hippocampus is such a critical brain region for memory function. In many ways, this region is particularly sensitive to insult by various environmental factors, including eating foods that are high in saturated fat and processed sugar," Kanoski added.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) in the US recently.


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