Study examines role of fructose in driving Alzheimer’s disease

Research reveals that one can find high fructose levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s

An ancient human foraging instinct, fuelled by fructose production in the brain, may hold clues to the development and possible treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The study, published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, offers a new way of looking at a fatal disease characterised by abnormal accumulations of proteins in the brain that slowly erode memory and cognition.

Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruits, fruit juices, some vegetables and honey. Fructose is also a basic component in table sugar (sucrose), and high-fructose corn syrup is used to sweeten many processed foods and beverages.

Fructose produced in the brain can lead to inflammation and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease, the study said. Animals given fructose show memory lapses, a loss in the ability to navigate a maze and inflammation of the neurons. Metabolising fructose and its byproduct, intracellular uric acid, is critical to the survival of both humans and animals.

As per the study, more research is needed on the role of fructose and uric acid metabolism in AD.

“We suggest that both dietary and pharmacologic trials to reduce fructose exposure or block fructose metabolism should be performed to determine if there is potential benefit in the prevention, management or treatment of this disease,” said the researchers.

Image credit- shutterstock

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