Fernando Gomez-Pinilla.jpg Of late, new studies showing the potential downsides of eating foods high in sugar have surfaced. In another trial, scientists at the University of California (UCLA) have shown that a diet high in fructose may damage memory and learning capacity.

While sugar is generally associated with obesity or fatty liver disease, the link between fructose and mental health is apparently the first to arrive. A research was conducted with a set of rats where it was found that foods high in fructose led to deterioration of memory. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids seemed to counteract this negative effect on the brain circuitary.

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think. 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,” commented Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.

The investigators revealed that fructose that is normally present in fruits may not be harmful as they contain antioxidants as well. But, high-fructose corn syrup that is used as a preservative or sweetener for different foods could be a cause for concern, they say.

Found in the Journal of Physiology, the findings showed that high levels of fructose may be harmful to the brain, while DHA or omega-3 fatty acids could nullify the damaging impact.