Here’s What Sugar Does To Your Brain

shocked-man-with-food

Back when our ancestors discovered the benefits that sugar—more specifically glucose—had on our brains and bodies, they had not considered just how “hooked” their predecessors would become on it.

 

Nowadays, sugar can be found in many compositions, such as corn syrup, honey, fructose, or glucose. It is produced both naturally and artificially, and is sold by the millions all around the globe. But why is it consumed over and over, and why can’t we get enough of it? The answer is in our brains.

 

The key relationship between glucose, a kind of simple sugar, and the brain, goes back to the most basic of our biological functions. It is the primary source of energy, and one that our most energy-demanding organ essentially needs. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, “brain functions such as thinking, memory and learning are closely linked to glucose levels.” Basically, we cannot function properly if our sugar intake isn’t balanced.

 

Look at it this way; every time we consume certain carbohydrates, our intestines break them down into glucose. This is the same glucose, or sugar, that is absorbed into the bloodstream, so that it may be used for other tissues and become the main fuel for brain cells. Thanks to our neurons, we are able to process information, recall memories, and simply experience life; it is through each microscopically electrical transmission that they communicate. But if glucose is lacking and neurons are not well fed, this communication simply breaks down. The body is almost like a machine, which is why it is integral to understand the effects of the chemicals that are put in it.

 

However, as there is good on one side, there is also bad on the other side of the scale. Too much sugar can have a negative effect on the brain.

 

The white and brown sucrose, which we mainly recognize as table sugar, comes from sugarcane or sugar beets. It is refined, processed, and turned into cakes, bottled juices, and candies. It is the sweet stuff most of us love, and much different from the natural sugars (glucose and fructose), which are found in natural plant-based foods like fruit. Added sugars (or disaccharides) are found in 74 percent of the packaged foods in American supermarkets, which is why Americans consume roughly five times the amount of sugar they should. This high consumption rate has been linked to vascular dementia and poor immune function.

 

Sugar has a side effect on the brain. From the moment sugar touches the tongue’s receptors, the brain receives signals to activate a rewarding reaction of feel-good hormones such as dopamine, a neurotransmitter also artificially found in cocaine. The more we consume it, the higher our tolerance becomes, turning our consumption into a vicious cycle of more and more sugar. But what happens when we just can’t get enough? The body doesn’t necessarily overdose on sugar, but the nervous system has proven that it eventually breaks down from it.

 

A 2012 study on rats conducted at UCLA showed that the ones that had over-consumed fructose had damaged the communication among brain cells. Due to the heavy sugar intake, the rats developed a resistance to insulin, a hormone that strengthens the synapsis between cells, slowing down their ability to form memories and learn. When sugar takes over certain functions in the brain, the brain tries to avoid working for itself, which is why it is beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to avoid sugary foods or beverages.

 

Learning about the real effects, both the good and bad, that sugar has on us is the key to maintaining the balance that will make a difference in our lives. Try to obtain sugar from natural sources, as opposed to processed food products and baked goods we tend to go for when sugar cravings strike.

 

10 Sources of Good Sugar:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Raw Organic Honey
  • Raw Agave Nectar
  • Carrots
  • Pineapples
  • Prunes
  • Beets
  • Whole Grains
  • Grapes

 

Sources

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html

http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/

2018-04-23T15:54:05+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: What do you think about organic whole cane sugar....unrefined and unbleached? Not really a good thing to consume but it's better than white table sugar if you feel you must consume sugar.

    A:

    Not really a good thing to consume but it's better than white table sugar if you feel you must consume sugar.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: My sugar cravings are out of this world. I am not diabetic but have terrible sugar bouts. I have recently bought the sugar control. The bottle says 3 pills a day. Can I take 3 pills several times a day since my sugar cravings are so bad?

    A:

    You may take your Sugar Control Formula, up to 3 times a day, with each meal!

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    Q: I tried Sugar Buster recently, did not have the effect I (thought). Should I continue to use, or is there another product I should consider? My reason for asking is I am about to start a (fat) loss program and I recognize that sweets/chocolate is my problem. Not necessarily food in an of itself. Please explain how you were taking SUGAR BUSTER.

    A:

    Ideally, 3 capsules should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. When cravings are strong, and addition 3 capsules should be taken in the course of the day, or after you have eaten something sweet.

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    Q: If I gave the SUGAR BUSTER to my child for adhd what effect is it going to have on them compared to what they are taking now, one is on addrell and the other is concerta? I have no idea! I really don't believe in ADD! ADD only means a child is too advanced and is greatly bored in the classroom learning non-mentally stimulating things for an old world paradigm. However, the drugs you are giving those innocent children are harming their bodies and overall health. Problems are not fixed by drugging. Have you read our article entitled "ATTENTION-DEFICIT DISORDER"?

    A:

    I have no idea! I really don't believe in ADD! ADD only means a child is too advanced and is greatly bored in the classroom learning non-mentally stimulating things for an old world paradigm. However, the drugs you are giving those innocent children are harming their bodies and overall health. Problems are not fixed by drugging. Have you read our article entitled "ATTENTION-DEFICIT DISORDER"?

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    Q: Hi Dherbs. I'm pregnant. I've been slacking off with my diet for years now, eating just about every bad thing but pork. I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. Now I may have it again with my current pregnancy at 4 months. They're going to give me the 3 hr test and I know they'll try to make me take insulin. I really don't want to shoot myself with needles. It wasn't a pleasant experience last time. Anyway to make a long story short, I wanted to know if the following would be good products to work on the situation: FULL BODY DETOX SUGAR BUSTER TEA PANCREAS FORMULA Would any of these pose a problem or interact poorly with my baby? Do you suggest any other effective formula of yours to improve my glucose uptake and general health during this pregnancy?

    A:

    I highly suggest the 10-DAY ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD CLEANSE for pregnant women. This cleanse will help to address all your needs and all health concerns. You can perform it as much as you like too! It provides great nutrition for mother and developing child.

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    Q: While doing a candida cleanse, it was told to me that I should be following a raw food diet full of fruits and vegetables. Fruits have high sugar content and can feed a candida overgrowth, as it is a well known fact that candida albicans thrive on sugar. How can I justify eating fruits high in sugar? Thank you for your comments. Ozzy

    A: Yes, when you have a candida issue it's best to avoid refined sugar. Sugar from a natural source like fruits should be consumed moderately. In your case it would be best to consume fruits mainly in the mornings for breakfast when your body maximizes on food the most, avoiding the ones that are very high in sugar.

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    Q: I have a 17 years old daughter that is taking the brain toner for her epileptic seizures for about a month now. I wanted to know how long with the effects take place to allow sufficient oxygen to her brain, and will the seizures eventually cease? My daughter is on a herbal, and conscious diet, but I am still working on her eating out to restaurants every now and then. Working on her getting the proper rest each day, since she is a junior in high school. Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do, since she did have a small seizure today, which is better than the ones she has had in the past. I know it will take some time for the brain toner to work.

    A:

    Patience is required in healing, Beloved! Let nature take her natural course! Also, there may be underlying metaphysical causative factors for the seizures. I would suggest adding Ethereal Bliss with Brain Tuner, and she should also drink the Brain Tuner Tea along with taking the capsules. These are optional, but I do recommend them, at least to experiment with in hopes of facilitating elimination of the seizures. Have her perform deep breathing exercises on a daily basis too! A raw foods/vegan diet is BEST for her too! Undoubtedly so! Those restaurants are using some very dangerous chemicals. Drive this point home to her!

    Product Links:
    Ethereal Bliss
    Brain Tuner
    Brain Tuner Tea

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    Q: Thanks so much for all the wonderful info! I had a chance to look at some of your products and I like what I see. There is so much good stuff here. I just finished a 60 day sugar/fat cleanse. I basically cut out all diary, white sugar, flour, pasta, etc (I was already eating a veggie diet) I did very well with the cleanse and I want to keep it going. I lost almost 20 pounds, but I started eating a little differently, since I had some events for the past couple weeks and the weight started coming back on. I'm aware that I have a slow metabolism, but I do exercise (4 to 5x a week) and I generally eat pretty well. I have about another 40 pounds I want to loose and continue to be healthy and energetic. Also, my husband and I are also trying to have our first child. Do you have any suggestions?

    A:

    We would recommend that you give our Full Body Cleanse a try. It will help you lose additional weight and rejuvenate your body. Once completed, try the Fertility Kit, which is a 20 Day program and regimen that consists of herbs, elixirs, affirmations, inhaler, and dietary program to help naturally enhance fertility.

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    Q: I want to get this for my mother as she is trying to lose weight and keep her sugar level and blood pressure under control and not be in any danger from taking this. Her sugar was in the 300's and we got her to keep it down between 140 and 180. She was diagnosed with Diabetes last year and is working on eating right. I will order once you answer this. Should she talk to her doctor first or can she try it first?

    A:

    It's her choice! What can or will a doctor who has an interest in DRUGS tell her about herbs that he/she doesn't get a kickback from??????

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

    A:

    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
    Healing Crisis

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    Q: I had recently been taking ibuprofen for joint pain and stopped after about 4 mos as I noticed it, or something else has caused my ankles and feet to swell preventing me from wearing my cowboy boots. I have taken a glucose tolerance test that showed I was breaking down sugar(s) properly. Is there anything you can recommend to reduce the swelling I'm experiencing?

    A:

    Try HEADACHE AND PAIN FORMULA, ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD, JOINT FORMULA, MSM SULFUR, and ACID BUSTER formulas. Also, start soaking in hot water and 2 boxes of sea salt (daily).

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    A:

    For dementia, I recommend NERVES FORMULA, CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM FORMULA, and BRAIN TUNER.

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    Q: I have purchased and started your FULL BODY DETOX (FBD) but I need your advice. I'm a so-called diabetic, I'm not overweight 5'9" 140lbs. I've read many of your articles including the one titled "Can I take my medication with FBD?" The first day I started the detox, I didn't take my meds and all I ate was fruits and veggies but my blood sugar was higher than it had been in a long time...356 to be exact. So I stopped and started this week, while taking my meds and it's still been higher than normal...in the 200's range. I understand that you stated that the herbs would be working against the meds since they're considered poisons in the body. My concern is this, I want to continue to cleanse my body but I don't want my blood sugar to stay out of control for an extended period of time...for obvious reasons. My question is, what do you suggest I do in continuing this cleanse? Will the FBD regulate my blood sugar levels over the next 2 weeks as my body begins to repair itself? Or should I continue taking my meds until I'm done with the cleanse? I plan to do the pancreas cleanse next. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Peace

    A:

    Like we clearly and unequivocally explain in so many of our articles, the body is and will regulate itself and you will see this via fluctuation. Levels will be up and down and inconsistent. Your body is going to heal in its own way so if you are concerned about high levels for extended periods of time, you may want to take your meds and refrain from taking the herbs until your levels reach a level you feel safe with. You know, religion is not the only thing that requires faith. Healing requires faith too!

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    Q: I have been experiencing very trying health issues for many years (over 25 years). The trouble began when my gall bladder was removed 26 years ago. I had mood swings, lack of energy, and severe diarrhea. Approximately 13 years ago I had an additional surgery for an umbilical hernia. Due to pre-op tests, my physician diagnosed me with thyroid disease and placed me on synthroid. This medication dramatically improved the digestive issues I had experienced for many years. I had very loose bowels when menstruating and when I was ill. I am overweight and have dealt with weight issues all my life. Three years ago I had a scare where I thought I experienced a heart attack. I spent three days in the hospital and learned of many health risks. My triglycerides were extremely high along with my sugar being borderline. I have been tested for diabetes on a number of occasions in my life but never show to be. There are numerous cases of diabetes in my family. My mother and one sister are insulin dependent and one other sister is on some form of pill medication for diabetes. At that time, I gave up sugar and began a regime at the gym. The have not eaten any sweets other than what I get in a little ketchup occasionally or some other kind of sauce that may contain some sugar. I have gone to the gym with minimal results in losing weight. I had a total hysterectomy six weeks ago. My regular GP has been on vacation and I've been dealing with one of her associates. This dr. sent me in for glucose tolerance and she has since diagnosed me as Type II Diabetic. She put me on a medication called "Metformin" and has me taking a 500 mg pill twice daily. I have only been on this medication for three days. I have been very careful to eat only what they say I can. I am experiencing the same issues as before with the diarrhea. Last night I was up all night with this and it is like water coming out of me. I am unable to find a physician who understands that I want to lose the weight, but cannot when I'm constantly dehydrated and feeling lethargic. When I have this constant problem, I am not able to do what I need to do for my overall health. Sorry to be so wordy but I wanted to explain the full extent of what I am experiencing. My friend told me to get on this website and explain my issues. He feels that you may be able to guide me in the direction of a natural product or products that can help me to have normal bowel movements and therefore begin doing the physical exercise that is needed for me to reduce my chances of becoming an insulin dependent diabetic.

    A:

    I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO FIRST TRY THE FULL BODY DETOX (TAKING THINGS ONE DAY AT A TIME). AFTER THIS CLEANSE, I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO PERFORM THE PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN . LET'S TAKE THIS SLOWLY AND GET YOU BACK TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. FIRST THINGS FIRST, OKAY? ALSO, PLEASE CONSIDER A CONSULTATION AS THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH TIME I CAN GIVE TO RESPONDING VIA E-MAIL DUE TO ALL THE E-MAILS WE GET DAILY.YOU CAN HEAL. JUST CONCENTRATE ON HEALING, NOT DIABETES. LET'S START HERE, OKAY?

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    Q: I'm doing the Full Body Cleanse and I have a few questions about it: I get tired of drinking just the distilled water and I'd like to drink the herbal teas, but I don't like it by itself. Would it mess things up to add a pack or two of Splenda to my tea or maybe honey? I can't stand the salads with the olive oil or apple cider vinegar or the lemon juice as dressing and it makes me gag. I have To have some sort of salad dressing. What kind would be suitable? Do I look for sugar-free? Or organic and natural? I found one that is organic and natural, but it has 3 grams of sugar in it. Without eating all my whole grained breads and other fiber, I haven't had much of a bowel movement in 3 days, should I wait a while yet? (I had surgery on my bowels and always had to take fiber tablets and eat lots of grains to get my bowels to move.) I haven't done the enemas yet, (low on money) should I try that? Or should I resume my fiber tablets I normally take? Any type of fiber I could add to my fruit smoothies in the morning? I want to also do the female cleanse. Is it ok to do that immediately after I finish the full body cleanse or should I wait for a little while? Thank you for all your help, I feel much better than I did before and I just started this detox a week ago, lost 10 pounds, too, woohoooooo! Thank you

    A:

    1. Instead of splenda, use agave, stevia, or grade b maple syrup as a sweetener.

    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

    3. The fiber pills are not part of the cleanse, so we wouldn't advise those. Fruit is you best choice of fiber so look into eating more papaya, mango, figs, etc. And yes, colonics (and enemas) would greatly help you - undoubtedly!

    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Q: My wife quit using HRT "premarin" several years ago because of the bad publicity about it. She has not taken anything since. What should she take if anything? She has experienced a weight gain that is hard to get rid of and a craving for sweets. We ordered the sugar control last week.

    A:

    Please read our article "Female Hormonal Replacement Therapy" on our site for natural HRT alternatives.

    Sugar Control is a good start. Your wife may wish to perform the Full Body Cleanse and/or the Female Cleanse in order to help eradicate sugar and junk food cravings, while working to naturally cleanse and detoxify the body to aid in necessary weight release, enhancing the immune system and increasing energy levels.

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    Q: What product can I use to keep my blood sugar level down? I don't want to take the medicine that I know my doctor will prescribe. This just started happening to me.

    A:

    Start taking SUGAR BUSTER, PANCREAS AUXILIARY FORMULA , and ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD daily.

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: I have been on your PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN for 14 days. I am a type 1 diabetic. In the morning my blood sugar is high-about 150, however, after taking the herbs it stabilizes it and my blood sugar is normal. Is there anything additional I can take in the evening besides the green beans, cabbage and Brussels sprout juice to stabilize it?

    A:

    Try SUGAR BUSTER TEA! Drink as many cups as you deem necessary!

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    Q: Is the children's sugar buster the same as the Elixir that was talked about in the Attention Deficit Disorder Article

    A:

    No, Beloved! They are NOT the same! Different products.