How Blood Sugar Relates to Brain Size and Function
In a recent edition of the journal Neurology, German researchers evaluated the size of the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, using a specialized type of MRI scanner. In addition, they measured the blood glucose levels in the same individuals. When the data was analyzed, a direct relationship was found between the degree of atrophy or shrinkage of the hippocampus and blood sugar measurements. Even subtle elevations of blood sugar, far below the level where one would be labeled as being diabetic, were already associated with brain shrinkage.
What’s more, the researchers also performed cognitive testing on these individuals and showed a direct relationship between failing memory and blood sugar elevation.
The take home message here is straightforward. Even mild elevations of blood sugar correlate perfectly with both brain degeneration as well as compromised function. And because your blood sugar directly reflects your sugar and carbohydrate consumption, you can choose to directly influence the size, and more importantly the preservation of function of your brain. As the authors of this report stated:
Moreover, our results indicate that lifestyle strategies aimed at long-term improvement of glucose control may be a promising strategy to prevent cognitive decline in aging.