Even Slightly Elevated Blood Sugar Decreases Brain Size
New research published in this month’s issues of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, finds that people with elevated blood sugar levels that fall even on the higher end of the normal range are at a greater risk for brain shrinkage related to diseases like dementia.
According to Medical News Today, this is the first evidence that the same shrinkage and dementia associated with type 2 diabetes can be found in people with only slightly elevated blood sugar, or even high-end normal blood sugar levels.
Scientists evaluated 249 people between the ages of 60 and 64. All participants had normal blood sugars at the beginning of the study. Brain scans were taken then, and four years later.
The subjects with higher fasting blood glucose levels, but levels that still fell within the normal range (typically between 70 and 100 mg/dL), were more likely to have a loss of brain volume in the hippocampus and amygdala. This is significant because these areas are commonly associated with memory and cognitive skills. These slightly elevated higher blood sugar levels were not high enough to be considered diabetic (180 mg/dL) or even prediabetic (110 mg/dL), but were just at the high end of normal.
After analyzing the data and adjusting for other risk factors including smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol use, and other factors, the high-end-of-normal blood sugar levels accounted for six to ten percent of the brain shrinkage.
What Does Elevated Blood Sugar Mean for You?
What does this mean for you? It means that even slight elevations in blood glucose levels can increase your risk of age-related dementia. Slightly elevated blood sugar could, in the long run, shrink your brain causing problems with memory and cognitive function.The research gives yet another reason to shift to a diet and lifestyle that will promote healthy blood sugar levels.
“These findings suggest that even for people who do not have diabetes, blood sugar levels could have an impact on brain health,” said one of the study’s lead authors. “More research is needed, but these findings may lead us to re-evaluate the concept of normal blood sugar levels and the definition of diabetes.”
So, how can you ensure your blood sugar levels are at the low or mid-range of normal? Take care of your health! Some home remedies for high blood pressure may also be excellent for reducing blood sugar levels, while cinnamon for diabetes and blood sugar has also been used as a simple and most valuable solution. Exercise regularly, eat whole, natural foods, and avoid over-consumption of sugar – try to stick to around 25g/day (although anything less than your current intake is probably improvement).
Foods that may help control blood sugar includes things like: beans and legumes, whole grains, vitamin K and magnesium-rich foods, turmeric, and fresh produce.