• December 10, 2023

The 3 everyday drinks that can increase your risk of brain-robbing dementia


YOU have heard that you are what you eat, right?

Well, as it turns out you are also what you drink – and this is especially the case when it comes to brain health.

Thankfully your morning brew is unlikely to increase your risk of dementia


Thankfully your morning brew is unlikely to increase your risk of dementia

Guzzling drinks high in free sugars increases your risk of dementia, German scientists have found.

This includes fruit drinks, flavoured milk drinks and full fat fizzy drinks, they found.

Free sugar is what we call any sugar added to a food or drink during the making process.

Fruit juices, which contain naturally occurring sugars, were also associated with the brain-eating disease, but to a lesser extent.

While tea and coffee do not increase the risk of dementia at all, the experts found.

Experts don’t quite know why increased sugar intake can increase the risk of the disease.

However, some studies suggest it could be because sugar can cause inflammation, which is thought to play a role in neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of the condition.

Around 944,000 Brits are currently living with dementia and experts predict the numbers will exceed one million by the end of the decade.

It’s thought to be caused by build-ups of proteins in the brain, including tau and amyloid.

There is currently no cure for the disease, although three promising drugs to slow down its progress are currently in trials.

In the meantime, experts say focusing on how to improve your lifestyle is the best way to fight the disease.

The study, published in Springer Nature, looked at how eating sugar in different forms effected the risk of dementia.

They analysed the diets of 186,622 UK Biobank participants – an online database of medical and lifestyle records – between the ages of 37 to 73 for up to ten years – after which 1498 incident dementia cases occurred

Overall health such as body mass index (BMI), socioeconomic status, and family health history were taken into account.

The scientists from the University of Giessen wrote consuming drinks with free sugars and naturally occurring sugars was “significantly associated with dementia risk.”

They found drinking a small milk drink, like a McDonald’s vanilla milkshake each day, increased the was associated with a 39 per cent increased dementia risk over 10 years.

While drinking a can of full-fat Coke increased the risk of dementia by 21 per cent.

This compares to eating foods with free or naturally occurring sugars for which there was “no significant association” found.

Separate studies have found that getting sugar in liquid form is much worse than getting it from solid food.

This is partially because the brain doesn’t register liquid sugar calories like it does the calories from solid food.

Drinking calories doesn’t elicit the same fullness signals as eating them. This means you end up eating more and are at risk of gaining weight.

In addition to promoting weight gain, liquid sugar calories can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.


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