Do you have a hard time focusing from time to time? Does your memory give out on you when you least expect it? Do you struggle to solve problems like you used to? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s possible you can find the cause in what you’re eating and drinking.
A new study discovered that rats eating a popular food additive had significant memory lapses. Fortunately, this study also showed how to overcome the damage done by this food additive. That’s because the rats eating a particular nutrient didn’t have the same memory problems.
In this study, the researchers wanted to find out how the omega-3 fat DHA and fructose affected the brain of a rat. They started by training the rats to solve a maze. Once the rats had the maze mastered, they divided the rats into four different groups. They gave one group DHA. They added fructose to the water of another group. The third group took both. And the fourth was the control — they didn’t take either the DHA or the fructose.
The group eating the fructose alone showed significant memory impairment. They took longer to solve the maze than prior to drinking the fructose. The researchers said that the fructose had a direct impact on the rats’ insulin resistance, memory, and ability to solve the maze.
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However, those rats consuming the DHA did better on the maze. This was true whether they ate the fructose or not. In fact, the researchers said, “All parameters of metabolic dysfunction related to the fructose treatment were ameliorated by the presence of dietary DHA fatty acid.” In other words, the DHA could overcome the damage the fructose caused.
The researchers also noted that the rats that didn’t eat any fructose, but did take DHA, scored the highest.
This study makes it very clear. If you want your memory to suffer, avoid DHA and eat lots of sugar. Of course, a diet low in DHA and low in sugar doesn’t fair much better.
The best case scenario is to completely avoid the sugar and take plenty of DHA. This will significantly improve your memory and, according to this study, may overcome past damage done by dietary “indiscretions.”
If you just can’t avoid sugar, then definitely make sure you’re taking ample DHA. At least this way you can prevent the damage to your brain.
The best source of DHA is a high-quality fish oil product that guarantees its purity, such as Daily Omega. If you prefer a vegetarian source of omega-3, you can use Yes Ultimate EFAs.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Agrawal R and Gomez-Pinilla F. 'Metabolic syndrome' in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signalling and cognition." The Journal of Physiology, May 1, 2012, 590, 2485-2499.