Just in case we need another reason to give up soda; here it is. Excess drinking of sugary beverages like soda appears to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
New research using mice suggests that excess drinking of sugary beverages like soda may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Both obesity and diabetes are both associated with higher incidences of Alzheimer’s. Researchers tested whether high sugar consumption in an otherwise normal diet would affect Alzheimer’s progression.
Using a genetic mouse model that develops Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in adulthood, they tested for over a 25 week period. The entire group ate a regular, balanced diet, but half of the subjects’ diet was supplemented with 10% sugar water. Afterwards, they compared the metabolism, memory skills (by means of various mazes) and brain composition of the regular and sugar-fed mice.
had worse learning and memory retention and their brains contained over twice as many amyloid plaque depositsNot surprisingly, the sugar-fed mice gained about 17% more weight than controls, had higher cholesterol levels, and developed insulin resistance. But interestingly, these mice also had worse learning and memory retention and their brains contained over twice as many amyloid plaque deposits, an anatomical hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Although the researchers cannot be certain if the increased mental impairment resulted specifically from the higher sugar intake or higher calories in general, these results highlight the potential risk of sugary beverages. They note that the human equivalent of the mouse diet would be roughly 5 cans of soda per day, although since mice have a higher metabolism, it may actually take less sugar intake in humans.