(Agence France-Presse) — A study led by researchers from Inserm (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the University of Montpellier points to a link between excessive consumption of sugary foods and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease.
For the study, nearly 2800 French people over the age of 65 were followed over a 12-year period, in order to identify factors likely to increase their risk of dementia. While genetic predisposition plays an important role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, environmental factors such as diet may also have an impact. The authors of the study published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia set out to explore how daily sugar consumption could affect the development of the disease.
Previous studies in animals have shown that starch and added sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose syrups) can aggravate symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and accelerate the appearance of amyloid deposits in the brain, which are typical of the neurodegenerative disease.
Two to three times higher risk linked to sugary afternoon snacks
The research team focused on patients from the previous Three-City Study cohort to analyze their genetic predispositions, sugar consumption and risk of developing dementia. A total of 350 cases of dementia linked to eating habits and in particular to glycemic load (a food’s ability to raise blood sugar levels depending on the portion consumed) were studied. (…)