By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas
Dietary habits are known to be one of the most critical factors that regulate the microbiome.i Sugar has well known adverse effects on the immune system. A new study has reported that high sugar consumption affects microbiome-gut-brain communication, which alters neurocognitive development and reduces memory. Although these studies were conducted with mice, a similar effect may well occur in humans.
The researchers divided young mice into two groups and gave one group of the adolescent mice a high sugar diet. When the mice grew to adulthood, those who consumed high amounts of sugar early in life were found to have a dysfunctional neurological and cognitive function, which resulted in long-term memory impairment.ii
The high-sugar diet caused significant changes in the bacterial composition of the microbiome. These changes impaired functioning in the hippocampus, the brain region involved in the formation of learning and memory.
Studies in animals and humans confirm that poor dietary habits are associated with increased risks to a wide variety of health problems. This study suggests that increased sugar consumption early in life negatively impacts the gut microbiome, ultimately resulting in memory impairment in adults.
People need to understand that high consumption of sugar produces many adverse health outcomes. I especially urge parents to place some boundaries and control over the amount of sugar your kids consume, especially around holidays like birthdays, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.
Limit your sugar consumption and focus on eating FOOD WITHOUT LABELS.
Bibbo S, et al. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2016;20:4742-4749.