My goal with these articles is to look at the correlation between a high sugar/carbohydrate diet and how it affects the brain and nervous system and causes an inflammatory response in the entire body. The initial response to sugar is in the brain (fuel then with over consumption can cause inflammation in the brain).
The nervous system controls EVERY FUNCTION of the human body and therefore making sure it’s fed the proper nutrients to help it thrive and avoiding what doesn’t is key to being healthy overall.
How much sugar is consumed:
“Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression—all have been linked in recent research to the over-consumption of sugar. And these linkages point to a problem that is only beginning to be better understood: what our chronic intake of added sugar is doing to our brains.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes 156 pounds of added sugar per year. That’s five grocery store shelves loaded with 30 or so one pound bags of sugar each. If you find that hard to believe, that’s probably because sugar is so ubiquitous in our diets that most of us have no idea how much we’re consuming. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) puts the amount at 27.5 teaspoons of sugar a day per capita, which translates to 440 calories—nearly one quarter of a typical 2000 calorie a day diet.”
Sugar’s effect on the brain:
research suggests high sugar consumption causes inflammation in the brain, leading to memory difficulties. A 2016 study published in Behavioral Brain Research found inflammatory markers were present in the hippocampus of rats fed a high sugar diet, but not in those fed a standard diet.
Sugar’s effect on the nervous system (vagus nerve connection which regulates the parasympathetic system):
“the vagus nerve innervates tissues involved in the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients, vagal activation can directly and profoundly influence metabolic responses to food, as well as inflammation; in turn, both depression and stress have well-documented negative effects on vagal activation, contributing to the lively interplay between the brain and the gut.”