Sugar can actually damage the brain

Dumb and dumber

As if sugar’s effects on your weight (not to mention your diabetes risk) weren’t bad enough, some new research shows that eating it can actually damage the brain.

Scientists at UCLA tested the effects of high fructose corn syrup on rats. And after sipping this sugary substance for just six weeks, the rats were in a downward spiral.

Their insulin resistance had spiked, as did triglyceride levels. They showed all the signs of metabolic syndrome (aka, pre-diabetes). They also showed disrupted insulin receptor signaling in the hippocampus. Meaning their brain cells–particularly the ones involving memory formation and storage–weren’t functioning properly.

But there’s another interesting twist to this study…

The researchers also looked at another group of rats which were fed omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the high fructose corn syrup. And these rats didn’t show nearly the same level of damage that the other group did.

While omega-3s may help hedge some of the damage caused by high-fructose corn syrup, I wouldn’t consider them a “get out of jail free” card. It’s still absolutely essential to stay away from high fructose corn syrup–and sugar by any other name, too. It leads to serious health problems that can’t be undone by even the most powerful omega-3 supplement.

That said, it’s still a good idea to take omega-3s every day. I recommend 3,000 milligrams of a high-quality DHA/EPA fish oil supplement per day.

While you can’t expect it to make up for a lifetime of dietary transgressions, it can offer an added boost of protection for your brain, your heart, your blood sugar… and your health in general. And it works even better when you’ve eliminated sugar and switched to a diet filled with rich, delicious indulgences (like the ones you’ll find on my New Hamptons Health Miracle) that won’t affect your well-being.