Can Excessive Sugar intake affect Your Cognitive Ability?

Relationship Between Excess Sugar Intake And Cognitive Abilities


The last five years have seen a significant rise in the global consumption of sugar. According to a report by the World Health Organization, each and every individual consumes an approximate of 156 lbs of sugar daily. Since glucose is the body’s primary source of energy, the body requires it in large quantities. In fact, the cells of the brain require almost twice the energy required by any other cells in the body. This energy is obtained from sugar-rich foods which contain large amounts of carbohydrates.

Western societies are the biggest consumers of sugar-rich foods. Studies show that you are twice as likely to consume more sugar in western countries than any other part of the world. This high intake of sugar and sugar-rich foods may be explained by the fact that, sugar triggers a reward response from the brain due to the production of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine.

Excessive sugar intake can result in undesired weight gain. The weight can be easily managed with the help of some Weight Loss Pills. However, sugar is not so healthy, especially in the brain. It has been shown to induce cognitive dysfunction especially when taken in large quantities. We are going to discuss on whether excess sugar can affect your cognitive ability and if yes, how does it affect?

Does Sugar Affect Your Cognitive Ability?

To a large degree, numerous studies have linked excess sugar intake with symptoms such as deficiency in memory and spatial learning. In a certain research, 59% of the participants who were ‘heavy’ sugar eaters were found to have problems in recalling and responding to simple questions. Their short-term memory was largely depleted when compared to those who took little or no sugar. It was also found out that, those who took the largest amount of sugar either in raw or processed form had a higher record of forgetfulness.

Consumption of large sugar quantities has also been linked not only with impaired cognitive abilities but also to diseases such as Alzheimer and diabetes. A research in the year 2002 found out that the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was greatly reduced with consumption of large quantity of sugar. Since BDNF is responsible for the formation of new memories and learning of new information, these activities were abruptly hindered. However, when given foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, this condition seemed to be suppressed.

Foods that have high sugar content not only deplete our cognitive abilities, they also increase the amount of fat in the body. A study with 152 participants showed that 43% of those subjected to foods with high sugar content recorded a significant increase in weight. However, 3% of those who were subjected to the gluten-free diet plan recorded either a loss of maintained their previous weight. Another 6% of the participants showed a slight increase in weight under the gluten free diet plan.

What about Depression Patient?

On the other hand, patients who were under depression treatment were found to have taken significantly the excess amount of sugar content. This was caused by the inability of the brain to function on a normal basis. It was also found out that, cognitive impairments in the brain increased with an increase in sugar consumption. Medical practitioners explained that an elevation in blood sugars caused damage to blood vessels which ultimately slowed down the brain’s function.

Other studies of patients living with diabetes showed that although they were trying in improving memory, their conditions still existed. These conditions were specified by a deficit in learning, recalling and other cognitive functions. An exposure to large quantities of sugar was also shown to reduce the brain’s capacity and facilitate brain shrinkage. These conditions are fatal to the brain since they might also compromise the brain’s aptitude to process sensations.

If you are out there wondering how to improve your memory, you should consider reducing the amount of sugar intake as your first step. Sugar depletes your memory by growing the attention of D1 which is a type of an excitatory receptor while at the same time reducing the concentration of D2 which is an inhibitory receptor.

This means that, over a certain period, sugar intake would inhibit the action of dopamine and would require a higher amount of sugar to activate dopamine receptors. This would lead to a high level of sugar dependence which is associated with negative health conditions such as obesity and morning sickness. A study on rodents which had been subjected to sugar dependence showed that, when deprived of sugar for about 12 hours, the rodents showed withdrawal symptoms such as head shaking and teeth chattering. These were insights on how sugar dependence caused addiction and withdrawal symptoms even to humans.

A study published in the Journal of physiology in the year 2012 also showed that there was a high correlation between brain injuries and memory loss. The study showed that 56% of the interviewed participants who had previous brain injuries had varying degrees of memory loss. On the other hand, the individuals who had previous brain injuries and continued with high sugar intake showed severe depletion of memory and decreased cognitive abilities.

An unhealthy diet was also associated with lower cognitive scores and a resistance to insulin. Insulin resistance is fatal to the brain since it increases the level of sugar in the bloodstream. It is accompanied by a reduced regional flow of blood and reduced memory.

How To Treat Low Cognitive Abilities Caused By High Sugar Intake

Since sugars account for more than 50% of all low cognitive abilities cases, a reduction of sugar intake would be highly commendable. On the other hand, a healthy diet that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids may also be a remedy for improving memory abilities and reducing insulin resistance. On the other hand, to maintain the proper cognitive function, it is imperative to enhance optimum cerebral perfusion.  When followed by the correct diet (which is obviously free from sugar) the brain’s ability to retain information would be regained.

Diets with high nitrate levels are also important in facilitating the change in the periphery and the cerebral blood flow. Similarly, interventions such as exercises that would help attain a higher cognitive function score are also recommendable.

On the other hand, other remedies for enhancing the brain’s cognitive abilities include top nootropics. They assist in enhancing the learning capacity, information retention and the span of attention. They also improve the memory and enhance a great speed of recalling information.

Researches to investigate the efficacy of these top nootropics have found out that, not only do they help in better decision making, they are also capable of preventing conditions such as Parkinson’s diseases, Alzheimer, age-related cognitive disabilities as well as dementia.


High sugar intake is a condition that leads to lower cognitive abilities in very many individuals all across the globe. On the other hand, some of the people may be addicted to foods with high sugar content. This is a serious condition and help should be sought from an experienced medical practitioner.

On the other hand, before seeking help, you should ensure that you avoid high sugars by following the correct diet. However, if you are already suffering from this condition, the above tips will help you overcome sugar dependency with little or no withdrawal symptoms. You can also have some natural alternatives to sugar.

News Reporter