Earlier research has mainly been concerned with how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver. A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning, according to Science Daily. However, there is hope as omega-3 fatty acids are proven to counteract the disruption.
In the study, it was discovered that eating too much fructose could block insulin's ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar for the energy required for processing thoughts and emotions.
"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," said Gomez-Pinilla, a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center. "Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," he added.
To combat these effects one is advised to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found commonly in marine and plant oils. Oily fish such as salmon, herrings and sardines are good sources, as well as walnuts and flaxseeds. Alternatively, one could take a daily DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) capsule. Gomez-Pinilla recommends one gram of DHA per day.