UCLA researchers trained mice to run a complex maze. Then they fed them high fructose death syrup for six weeks. A special group of mice also got to consume omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA.
The high fructose group experienced brain injury and reduction of synaptic plasticity, which also showed up as poor recall of what they had learned. They developed insulin resistance and their brain function could be described as rigid and dull. On the other hand, mice that also consumed DHA showed little damage from the high fructose intake.
“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Eating a high fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage. Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose’s harmful effects. It’s like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases.”
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist