Friday, October 25, 2013

This Week's Sci-Light

It's about 3:30 pm, and you're feeling sluggish.  While pumping a tank of gas, you decide you need something to keep you going.  You pick up a can of Coke and the Snickers bar catches your eye.  To tired to resist and a night of classwork to go, you pick it up.  

So what's the sugar content of your snack?  Coke has 39 grams of sugar and a regular sized Snickers bar has 30 grams.  What does that mean?  The average packet of sugar contains 4 grams.  So, with the two together, you've just taken in 17.25 packets of sugar.  

You may think I'm going to share research on the correlation of sugar and weight or diabetes.  I'm not.  In fact, the study that I'm highlighting excluded anyone that was overweight or had history of diabetes or pre-diabetes.  Author James Fenner in his article, "Blood Sugar Levels May Affect Hippocampus and Memory, Says Study," stated that individuals with elevated blood sugar levels are potentially at risk of developing memory problems.  The study published by the American Academy of Neurology in their online magazine, Neurology, was led by Dr. Agnes Flöel of Charté University Medicine in Berlin, Germany. 

Diagram showing the hippocampus in the human brain
As part of the limbic system, the hippocampus is responsible for processes associated with short-term and long-term memory.  To find out more about how the glucose interacts with the red blood cells and correlates to reduced recall, read the article.  And remember, this study provides the basis for more investigation.  Science works by taking small steps and retaking those steps in different ways to expand knowledge. 

But, in my thinking, this study provides yet another reason for me to reach for an apple (23 g of sugar), a banana (17 g of sugar) or a peach (15 g of sugar) instead.  If you're curious about the sugar content of your snack of choice, check out Sugar Stacks!