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Sweets impair children’s memory – scientists warn

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The reason for the memory impairment was the increased number of bacteria Parabacteroides in the intestine.

American researchers have reported the negative effects of sugar on memory in children.

During the experiment, the specialists divided a group of rats into two groups, one of which was periodically administered sugary drinks during their first stage of life.

As the animals grew older, the team put the rats through memory tests and found that their function in the hippocampus – the area of ​​the brain responsible for memory – was altered. This means that the consumption of excess sugar in the first years of life impaired this function in adulthood without affecting body weight or without causing anxiety.

“Excessive consumption of sugar and other unhealthy dietary factors during the early stages of development lead to changes in the gut microbiome and neurocognitive disorders,” the study says.

Scientists emphasize that the daily consumption of sugars is strictly related to the age of the minors. The recommended consumption limits are:

  • no more than 19 grams of sugar per day for those under four to six years old;
  • no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for those under seven to ten years old;
  • no more than 30 grams of sugar a day for those 11 years and older.

The results of this study bring to the table the important role of gut microbiota dysbiosis in measuring the detrimental effects of unhealthy eating habits on memory during early life, the authors argue.

The team wondered if healthy diets or exercise can help mitigate the damage caused by sugar. 

The authors of the study are confident that the results of the work are applicable to humans. 

In the future, they intend to continue experiments to better identify the pathways by which signaling from the gut to the brain works.

The results of the research were published by the Science Daily portal.

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