Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles found that fructose – a type of sugar naturally found in fruits and vegetables, but also present in soft drinks and sweets – damages brain cells and can lead to a wide range of diseases, from diabetes and heart disease to Alzheimer’s and ADH.
The scientists fed a group of rats for six weeks with fructose-spiked water. Then they put them in a maze, alongside rats which had drank only water. The rats which had consumed fructose took twice as long to navigate the maze as the water-only group, despite the same level of training – suggesting that their memories had been impaired.
However an omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, appeared to reverse the dangerous changes produced by fructose.
A third group of rats which were fed a flaxseed-oil extract rich in omega-3s as well as the fructose water managed to navigate the maze almost as quickly as the water-only group.
DHa is found naturally in fish (especially salmon), nuts, and certain vegetables.
The senior author of the study, Xia Yang said that DHA changes not only one or two genes but seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal.
– The telegraph