New research has found yet another unhealthy effect of drinking too much sugar-sweetened beverages — memory trouble. Taking in too much sugar drinks early in life can lead to impaired memory in adulthood. These sugar drinks can mess up your memory later in life.
Sugar Drinks Change Our Gut Bacteria
It turns out that these sugary drinks can change the types of bacteria in our stomach and intestines (called gut microbiome). One type of gut bacteria is found to alter areas of the brain that create memories, leading to memory impairment.
In the study, researchers gave one group of rat a sugary drink, and another group with just water. They found that, compared to rats that drank just water, the rats that consumed high levels of sugary drink had more difficulty with memory. The memory-making region of the brain that was affected is called the hippocampus.
This Bacteria is Responsible
The researchers noticed that sugar-drinking rats had more of a certain bacteria called Parabacteroides in their gut. When they transplanted the Parabacteroides bacteria into the gut of rats that drank just water, these rats also showed memory impairment when they became adult.
Th Parabacteroides bacteria not only affected the hippocampus, but also another memory region called the perirhinal cortex. This showed that the brain can be affected by just enriching a population of bacteria in the gut.
In summary, we know that sugary drinks are unhealthy, especially for kids. These drinks can cause memory problems for kids later in life. Cutting down on sugary drinks is one the the best things you can do for your kids.
The study was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.