Attention, college students cramming between midterms and finals: Binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid.
A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning – and how omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology has published the findings.
“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage.” …
Gomez-Pinilla, a native of Chile and an exercise enthusiast who practices what he preaches, advises people to keep fructose intake to a minimum and swap sugary desserts for fresh berries and Greek yogurt, which he keeps within arm’s reach in a small refrigerator in his office. An occasional bar of dark chocolate that hasn’t been processed with a lot of extra sweetener is fine too, he said.
Still planning to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a hot-fudge sundae? Then also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds, or take a daily DHA capsule. Gomez-Pinilla recommends one gram of DHA per day.
“Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose’s harmful effects,” said Gomez-Pinilla. “It’s like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases.”
- High-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory (artofthestem.com)
- Study in Rats Shows High-Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory (optimumnutrition.wordpress.com)
- Sugar might make you stupid (thesciencebulletin.wordpress.com)
- Sugar Makes You Stupid: Study Shows High Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning and Memory (neurosciencenews.com)
Potential market for savory, fish-oil fortified yogurts reported in the Journal of Dairy Science
From the 28 March 2012 article at Eureka news alert
Amsterdam, The Netherlands — Many consumers want to increase their intake of heart-healthy n-3 fatty acids, found naturally in fish and fish products, but find it difficult to consume the levels recommended by the American Heart Association. Scientists at Virginia Tech have demonstrated that it may be possible to achieve the suggested daily intake in a single serving of a savory-flavored yogurt, providing an easily incorporated dietary source for these valuable fatty acids. Their work is detailed in the April issue of the Journal of Dairy Science®.
“The international popularity of yogurt and the health-promoting properties associated with probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and milk proteins suggest yogurt could be an excellent vehicle for the delivery of n-3 fatty acids,” says lead author Susan E. Duncan, PhD, Professor and Director of the Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences Program, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech. “Recent innovations in exotic yogurt flavors provide innovation opportunities. We tested different levels of fish oil in a savory chili and lime flavored yogurt, and found that a 1% concentration of fish oil, which provides more than the suggested daily intake, could be acceptable to a large proportion of the general population, and have a potential market among health- and nutrition-conscious consumers.”
In a preliminary study, tasters could not differentiate between low levels of fish and butter oils in unflavored yogurt, but they could discern yogurt flavored with oxidized fish oil, which has a strong fishy taste. A second panel underwent 6 hours of training so that they could accurately describe and measure lime, sweet, heat, acid, and oxidized flavor attributes. They found the fish flavor more pronounced than the lime and acid characteristics in a chili-lime flavored yogurt fortified with 1% oxidized fish oil, compared with yogurts containing .43% or 1% fresh fish oil. The oxidized flavor was higher in chili-lime yogurts containing oxidized fish oil and a high level (1%) of fresh fish oil.
In a second study, 100 untrained consumers who were generally nutritionally motivated and aware of the health benefits of n-3 fatty acids evaluated the overall acceptance and flavor acceptance of chili lime yogurt enriched with butter oil or fish oil. Fifty percent of the tested group rated chili-lime flavored yogurt fortified with 1% butter oil or fish oil in the positive end of the scale (“liked extremely” to “neither liked nor disliked”). Thirty-nine percent reported they would be highly likely or likely to consume the chili-lime flavored yogurt on a regular basis. The low overall acceptance of the product by the remaining 50% of the tested group may be attributed to the chili-lime flavor or the lack of sweetness in the product.
These studies demonstrate the potential for consumption of the entire suggested daily intake of n-3 fatty acids in a single serving of savory-flavored yogurt, providing an alternative and easily incorporated dietary source of these heart-healthy fatty acids.
“Innovation of unsweetened, savory flavoring in combination with the powerful health functionality of n-3 fatty acids and dairy components is of interest to a large segment of the health- or nutrition-aware population. A potential market exists for this population,” Dr. Duncan concludes.
People with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease than people whose diets are not high in those nutrients, according to a new study published in the December 28, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology…
- Diet, nutrient levels linked to cognitive ability, brain shrinkage (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking | Logicamp (logicamp.wordpress.com)
- Diet Patterns May Keep Brain From Shrinking (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Nutrients May Stop Brain Shrinkage Linked To Alzheimer’s (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking (eurekalert.org)
- Omega-3 Diet + Vitamins Help Keep Brain from Shrinking (psychcentral.com)
- How Your Diet May Affect Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (healthland.time.com)
- Fast food may damage brain: study (windsorstar.com)
- Fast food may damage your brain: study (vancouversun.com)
- Diet rich in fish, vitamins may reduce brain shrinkage (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)