Easing blood sugar may help memory
By Mary MacVean LOS ANGELES TIMES
LOS ANGELES — People with elevated blood-sugar levels — even those not high enough for diabetes or pre-diabetes — are more likely to have memory problems than people with lower levels, a study of 141 people has shown.
The results suggest that people within the normal range could avoid problems as they age by lowering their blood-sugar levels, said the author of the study, Agnes Floel of Charite University Medicine in Berlin.
The work was published online December 2013 in the journal Neurology.
The researchers looked at 141 people with an average age of 63. They did not have diabetes or pre-diabetes, were not overweight and did not drink or smoke much. They also did not have thinking or memory impairment.
Their memories and blood-sugar levels were tested. They were asked, for example, to recall a list of 15 words a half-hour after hearing them. Recalling fewer words was associated with higher blood-sugar levels. People with higher blood-sugar levels also had smaller volumes in the hippocampus, a part of the brain important in memory and spatial navigation.
Every little bit helps, doesn’t it? There is no question these days that sugar contributes heavily to poor health, but has been pinpointed as a large pre-cursor as a major contributor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (even being referred to as Diabetes 3) . . .ah the curses of sweetness, yet we crave it, don’t we? Maybe its nothing more than the conditioning we have experienced, . . .those memories we cherish from our childhoods. . . . I dunno. But it does seem to be prevalent in our species. Hopefully, most of us do learn from our experiences, but with the world we dwell in now its harder to figure stuff out. Often, labels are confusing and deceitful as we’ve learned; authorities don’t agree on anything, on top of which — if we allow our taste buds to do all the choosing. . .we’re in for real trouble.
As an aside, I was considerably past 30 when my baby was born. Consequently, I had been experiencing for years the way many of the children of my friends were being allowed excessively empty calories by way of sweets, chips, cookies, candy and sugary drinks and so on. With any kind of normal sensitivity, one learns how unwelcome unsolicited “advice” can be; thus, not willing to sacrifice my friends on the alter of stupidity, I therefore decided if I ever got the chance, I’d do things differently. . . . and I tried. By the time my son was 4-ish, he was able to amble down a few houses and mingle with new-found friends who DID partake of all of the above. One can’t overlook the importance of peer influence and commercial advertising to our youngsters. . . so it takes a whole lot of doing and explaining. And if one is somewhat lucky, it will enter and even germinate sometimes. . . . over time.
An additional side-note to this article would have to do with getting creative with ‘some’ of those old memories which can drive and influence those taste-buds. Have always loved baked custard; and my mother used to ask for it. . . it was hard to deny her this as it really isn’t offensive. Easy to do and fairly quick: it involves 2 cups milk (I use whole – organic) — scalded, 3 eggs (use organic, brown, cage-free) — barely whipped, 1/4 cup sugar. . .add to scalded milk along with dash of salt, and last 1/2 teasp pure Vanilla Use 5 custard cups arranged in sided pan with 1/2″ or more of water [to keep from burning or drying ]. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and put in 325 oven for 30″ to 40″ after placing small metal sheet or cookie sheet over top of all – – again, to protect from drying out or burning.
The only thing I had to change here was the sugar. Haven’t bought it in a few years now, but I still have a silver sugar jar with lid that used to have almost a cup of sugar in it. So I take 1 scant teaspoon sugar and also use 3 packets of New Stevia (which I add last along with vanilla after milk has scalded.) I prefer Raw Milk, but it really isn’t available anymore. When my granddaughters were around, I used to double the recipe. Everyone in our family loved this. . . so now, I share with you, enjoy Jan)