Patients with mental disorders consume approximately 2-fold more sugar than age-matched healthy individuals, and patients with schizophrenia who consume more sucrose exhibit more severe symptoms. Despite accumulating evidence, it is still unproven that excessive sugar intake contributes to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders among susceptible individuals.
A recent study by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science has revealed that the excessive intake of simple sugar at the age of puberty could be an environmental risk factor of psychiatric disorders.
During their experiments, the researchers observed that psychiatric disorders are associated with cerebral microvascular angiopathy in the brain caused by various environmental stresses, including metabolic stress.
Excessive sucrose intake during adolescence causes cellular damage in on-neuronal cell groups, inhibiting the uptake of glucose from the blood into the brain parenchyma, leading to dysfunctions of certain neurons that cause major symptoms of psychiatric disorders.