New findings offer further evidence indicating lower blood sugar levels supports memory health. High blood sugar levels may cause cognitive issues in those with glucose levels considered on the high end of the normal/safe blood sugar level.
The most recent study, published in Neurology, examined the memory and blood sugar levels of people in the study; the study also measured the size of participants’ hippocampus, the part of the brain most closely connected to memory.
The findings of the study indicate that people with low blood sugar levels consistently demonstrate significantly better recall and memory than people with high levels of blood glucose. People with low blood glucose levels also demonstrated to constantly have a larger hippocampus than people with higher blood sugar.
When considering how blood sugar affects memory and cognitive function, scientists believe increased blood sugar levels may damage the vessels bringing blood to the brain, leading to less nutrients, oxygen and blood being delivered to the brain.
Another theory supporting the poor memory/high blood glucose connection suggests that the hippocampus requires a significant amount of glucose to function properly. When blood sugar levels rise, so does the likelihood of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases the levels of blood sugar and insulin in the blood, but also prevents the body and brain from recognizing the increase; this increase in insulin leads to numerous health issues including diabetes, weight gain, heart disease – and now, potential memory problems.
The findings of this study further support the importance of eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein, omega-3 fatty acids, high in fiber and free of processed foods. It also demonstrates the importance of regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.