By Nurse Mark
We all remember the ads; the egg, the frying pan… the very serious voice saying This is your brain (the egg,) this is drugs (the frying pan,) this is your brain on drugs (the egg sizzling in the frying pan.) No sensible person today doubts the damage that methamphetamine, crack, heroin, or any of the other “recreational drugs” cause to the brain or body – this is serious business.
Most street drugs alter the way that brain cells communicate or they flood the brain cells with chemicals that artificially create various “feel-good” states. By doing this to excess they also cause habituation and addiction. Bad stuff…
But there is an even nastier compound out there – and not only does this molecule cause artificial and addictive releases of massive amounts of “feel-good” neurochemicals, it actually alters and damages the DNA of our brains!
Scientists at the University of California have recently released research showing that this surprisingly common substance “alters hundreds of genes that may be linked to many diseases” and that “A range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer’s disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to changes to genes in the brain.”
So, are we seeing legislation that would ban this damaging substance?
Are we seeing action by the US Drug Enforcement Agency or the FDA to protect people from this stuff?
You see, this stuff is so pervasive, so common, so addictive, that The Department of Agriculture estimates Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of it in 2014.
27 gene-damaging, mind-altering, disease-causing POUNDS of it.
So, what is “IT”?
A form of sugar.
A form of sugar that is in so many foods and drinks in America (and all around the world) that avoiding it can be almost impossible.
We know it best in it’s industrial form: High-Fructose Corn Syrup. And it is everywhere.
Derived from corn starch that is treated to convert some of it’s glucose to fructose, it is a major industry in the US and the Corn Growers Association and their lobbying groups in Washington are very protective of this “goose that lays golden eggs.” Protective tariffs keep the price of imported sugars artificially high, and financial subsidies to sugar growers make this a lucrative industry indeed.
I won’t go deeper into the nasty effects that fructose has on the brain – you can read more in this excellent article by Science Daily here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160422091900.htm
We have written about the effects of sugar on brain function back in 2012 – this is not news to us: Common Food Ingredient Makes You Stupid?
There is good news however – there is a substance that can go a long way to reversing the damages.
DHA, a major component of fish oil, was found by the same researchers to be protective and was actually able to undo some of the damage done by fructose.
So, what is the “bottom line” for you and me?
- Avoid fructose – read the ingredient labels on everything when you are shopping. You’ll be amazed at where fructose hides.
- Don’t be fooled into believing that there are “good” or “healthy” sugars – please re-read our article But I Only Use Organic Natural Sugars!
- Protect yourself by using a top-quality, high potency Omega 3 fish oil every day. Please read more about our Maxi Marine O-3, an ultra-pure, ultra-high potency fish oil. Beware of cheap brands – their processing methods can damage the fragile oils, and they can be contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants if they have not been molecularly distilled.
- Summer is here! Yes, you need to hydrate. Yes, it is important for your kids to hydrate. Yes, it is tough to get them to drink “plain water” – kids want sweet “sports drinks” or sodas. But most “sports drinks” and almost all sodas contain either high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener, or toxic artificial sweeteners – to say nothing of the slew of other common and toxic preservatives, colorants, artificial flavors and more. What to do? Try Zip Fizz – a truly healthy (and really tasty) alternative to the “makes ya sweat green” sports drinks or sodas.
References and further reading:
Systems Nutrigenomics Reveals Brain Gene Networks Linking Metabolic and Brain Disorders
Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases: Scientists report that diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reverse the damage
Poor fetal, maternal outcomes linked to high-fructose diet in pregnancy: Consuming too much fructose has previously been linked to diabetes and obesity, but for expectant mothers, it could also lead to placental and fetal defects. This is according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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