Sugar toxicity

Sugar Toxicity – Can Sugar Rot Your Brain?

We are all somewhat aware of sugar toxicity and dentists have told us for years that sugar consumption will rotten our teeth

But can it be true also for the brain?

Apparently, yes! As it turns out sugar toxicity is a real health concern.

We know that the average American consumes 71 kg of sugar a year. Seventeen of those kilos coming from high-fructose corn syrup. That total sugar consumption is 31 more kilos than 30 years ago… That is roughly 27.5 teaspoons per person per day in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control.

The average Aussie consumes 20 teaspoons a day, while the average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoon a day. The Brits top it off with 34 teaspoons a day. Looking at their dentition, looks like they brush their teeth with it too.

Keep in mind that the sugar consumption of the US is grossly underestimated in most World capita charts as it only looks at beet sugar and/or cane sugar. It does not take into account high-fructose syrup, agave syrup etc…

Here is what we know about sugar toxicity and its excessive consumption as it relates to brain function.

Recent researches suggests that a diet high in added sugar lowers the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We need BDNF to make new memories and it is impossible to learn or recall much of anything without it. The worse your glucose metabolism is, the lower your levels of BDNF are.

The interesting part is that is a downward spiral. The worse your BDNF is, the worse your blood sugar metabolism is.  So diabetics have it worse that pre-diabetics. As the levels of BDNF decreases, your insulin resistance worsens…

We also know that when BDNF is low, depression and dementia sets in. That is why functional medicine doctors call Alzheimer’s diabetes type 3.

Lastly, added sugar messes levels of oxytocin, your satiety mediator.

Keep that in mind, the next time you reach for that quick sugar fix.

Live healthy,

Coach Charles R. Poliquin


Neuroscience, 2002; 112(4):803-14  A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning

Diabetologia 2007 Feb;50(2):431-8. Epub 2006 Dec 7  Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and type 2 diabetes

Peptides. Jul 2010; 31(7): 1346–1352 Chronic sugar intake dampens feeding-related activity of neurons synthetizing a satiety mediatof, oxytocin