It might be a good idea to stay away from sugary cereals and sweetened yoghurts for breakfast tomorrow morning. A new study from researchers at the University of Bath has uncovered a link between high blood sugar levels and Alzheimer’s disease.
For the first time, scientists have discovered a “tipping point” at which blood sugar glucose reach such dangerous levels that they hinder the performance of an essential dementia-fighting enzyme called macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which plays a role in immune response and insulin regulation.
“Excess sugar is well known to be bad for us when it comes to diabetes and obesity, but this potential link with Alzheimer’s disease is yet another reason that we should be controlling our sugar intake in our diets,” said one of the researchers, Dr Omar Kassar.
These new findings support the observation that people suffering from diabetes seem to be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. But, the report is the first to suggest that non-diabetics who consume large amounts of sugar also have an increased risk.
“Knowing this will be vital to developing a chronology of how Alzheimer’s progresses and we hope will help us identify those at risk of Alzheimer’s and lead to new treatments or ways to prevent the disease,” said Dr Rob Williams of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry.
With around 50 million people suffering from the disease worldwide (a number expected to rise to over 125 million by 2050), this research is more vital than ever.
Source: University of Bath
The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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