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Alzheimers and sugar consumption

The average American consumed 75 lbs of sugar/year in 2016, which is actually down 15% since it peaked in 1999.  As of 2017 an estimated 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers, with 5.3 million of them over 65 years old. 10% of people over the age of 65 have Alzheimers. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and costs $259 billion to care for these people.  More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimers or dementia.  Every 66 seconds, there is a new case of Alzheimers in the U.S.

Photo credit -Neil Moralee via Flickr

Unfortunately the light at the end of this tunnel is somewhat dim.  There is no cure, just a few pharmaceuticals that may or may not slow the progression of the disease.  However, a recent British study discovered an excess of sugar appears to promote the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Their laboratory studies using mice showed that excess glucose can adversely affect or modify certain proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Photo credit – Uwe Hermann via Flickr

The study did not state at what level would humans have to modify their sugar consumption in order to possibly affect the outcome because the lab studies were performed on mice. Insulin regulation, onset of diabetes, oxidative stress, immune system stress are just a few of the other effects that excessive sugar consumption causes in our body.  It would therefore be of general benefit to reduce the intake of sugar from both obvious and not so obvious sources:

Non-alcoholic drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices) represent ~ 25% of our sugar intake

Alcoholic drinks are 11%

Bread, biscuits, buns and cake represent 20%

Candy and sweets 27%

Processed food (ketchup, prepared meals, salad oils) – 5%

By reducing all or at least some of these categories, you will become a healthier person.   None of these sources of sugar above represent real food.

For the moment until they begin studies on humans, we can only say that if you were a mouse and reduced your sugar intake, perhaps you may also influence the onset of Alzheimers.

Photo credit – Hy’shqa via Flickr

These tropical fish below do not have our problem of excessive sugar consumption.  However, their number one problem is being eaten by someone bigger.  Due to the reduced velocity of light in seawater, the strobe flash is only able to light the 3 closest fish to the camera, who were only 4 feet away. The other fish were beyond the range that light could travel in a round trip to the fish and back to the camera before the shutter closed. This is the nature of underwater photography. When you think you are close … get closer. Just try and do this without spooking the very skittish fish.

Misc. tropical fish near Belize





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