A very recent study from the University of Southern California showed that adolescent rats who freely consumed large quantities of liquid solutions containing sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) experienced memory problems and brain inflammation. Not surprisingly they also became pre-diabetic.
The concentrations of sugar and HFCS the researchers fed the rats were comparable to what you find in popular sugar-sweetened beverages people drink every single day.
And that was all it took to seriously impair their brain function. In particular, the researchers found inflammation in the hippocampus of the rats. The hippocampus controls memory formation.
The lead researcher concluded: “Consuming a diet high in added sugars not only can lead to weight gain and metabolic disturbances, but can also negatively impact our neural functioning and cognitive ability.”
Yet another reason why it’s best to skip “cutting back” on sugar—and eliminate it altogether instead.
“Effects of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup consumption on spatial memory function and hippocampal neuroinflammation in adolescent rats,” Hippocampus 2015; 25(2): 227-239