AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


High-fructose Corn Syrup Found to Hamper TBI Recovery

Revealing a link between nutrition and brain health, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that a diet high in processed fructose can sabotage a rat brain’s ability to heal after head trauma. The study, published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, has implications for the 5.3 million Americans living with traumatic brain injury (TBI). “Americans consume most of their fructose from processed foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup,” said a professor of neurosurgery and integrative biology and physiology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “We found that processed fructose inflicts surprisingly harmful effects on the brain’s ability to repair itself after a head trauma.” The UCLA team found that fructose altered biological processes in the animals’ brains after trauma. The sweetener interfered with the ability of neurons to communicate with each other, rewire connections after injury, record memories and produce enough energy to fuel basic functions. The rats also took 30-percent long to find the exit in a maze, when compared to rats who did not consume a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup. To read more about this study, click here.

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