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Does Sugar Affect Your Brain?

Learn about the damaging health effects of consuming too much sugar…and it’s not just diabetes!

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Glucose (sugar) is the main food for your brain. The body can make glucose by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats, so there is no need to add glucose to your diet. Americans, however, eat way too much added sugar. About 15% of our daily calories are from sugar, which equates to 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day!

Sugars on Food Labels

On food labels, the total carbohydrate number gives us the total amount of sugars in a food item and includes all types of sugars. Individual types of sugars can be hard to identify on labels as they can be listed as sucrose (table sugar), corn sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit-juice concentrates, nectars, raw sugar, malt syrup, maple syrup, fructose sweeteners, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, or anhydrous dextrose.

Health Effects of Too Much Sugar

Too much sugar contributes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease and, while research does not show significant difference in brain and cognitive development between children with type-1 diabetes and healthy children, children who consume high levels of sugar long-term show slow brain development and cognitive functions. Studies have shown that sugar has a similar impact as high levels of long-term stress on developing brains. Both lower the expressions of receptors that bind cortisol, affecting the body and brain’s ability to recover from the stress . . . or the consumption of high levels of sugar.

Even in adults, many hormones associated with the digestion of glucose affect emotions and cognitive processes: leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cortisol. When these hormones are out of balance they affect the brain chemistry and cognitive functioning. Studies have demonstrated that high levels of glucose in the diet are associated with lower cognitive functions and higher levels of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

Overall, a healthy diet high in nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and low in added sugars and fats is the best way to ensure optimal brain and cognitive function. This is especially true in the case of children, whose brains are still developing. Even in adults, a healthy diet is associated with higher mental function throughout life.

Editor’s Note:GlucoCare® is a proven, proprietary herbal formula comprised of herbs used in India for centuries, primarily to promote healthy blood sugar levels.

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Gomez-Pinilla, F. (2008). Brain foods: The effects of nutrients on brain function. National Review of Neuroscience. 9(7): 568-570. Retrieved on 2/26/16 from

Maniam, J.; Morris, M. (2016). Sugar may be as damaging to the brain as extreme stress or abuse. Retrieved on 2/26/16 from

NIH. (2014). Chronic high blood sugar may be detrimental to the developing brain in young children. National Institute of Health: News Releases. Retrieved on 2/26/16 from

NIH. (2014). Sweet Stuff: How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health. National Institute of Health: News In Health. Retrieved on 2/26/16 from

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