Sometime ago, we discussed a study that linked Alzheimer’s disease to insulin resistance. That radical finding even went a step further to label the neurological condition as Type III diabetes. Therefore, since Insulin Resistance appears to be a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers decided to dig deeper to uncover how exactly the brain uses Insulin. The results were especially interesting.
Insulin keeps things running smoothlyIf someone asked you to list just a few of the tasks carried out by your brain, what would you say? Learning, memory, movement? Well, insulin assists the brain in all these areas! Insulin makes it possible for brain cells to use glucose for energy while regulating chemical signals within the brain itself. Those chemical signals allow brain cells to communicate during the learning process as well as memory formation. As a result, individuals suffering from low levels of Insulin or Insulin Resistance are at a significantly higher risk of developing issues with cognition, dementia, or even Alzheimer’s disease. Consequently, people with Type II diabetes lose more brain volume with age than non-diabetics.
Sugar and Carbs make Insulin’s job much harderUnfortunately, maintaining your Insulin level may not be enough to entirely prevent brain damage. In fact, even if you do not have Insulin Resistance or Diabetes, it is still possible to limit your brain function through your consumption of sugar and carbohydrates. One study examined the short-term and long-term effects of glucose on the brain:
- In the short-term, regular glucose exposure disrupted memory formation
- In the long-term, regular glucose exposure produced obvious shrinking of the hippocampus