Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence impairs memory

Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that daily consumption of beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose can impair the ability to learn and remember information, particularly when consumption occurs during adolescence. Both adult and adolescent rats were given daily access to sugar-sweetened beverages that mirror sugar concentrations found in common soft drinks. Adult rats that consumed the sugar-sweetened beverages for one month performed normally in tests of cognitive function; however, when consumption occurred during adolescence the rats were impaired in tests of learning and memory capability.

The lead author, Dr. Scott Kanoski from the University of Southern California, says, "It's no secret that refined carbohydrates, particularly when consumed in and other , can lead to metabolic disturbances. However, our findings reveal that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks is also interfering with our brain's ability to function normally and remember critical information about our environment, at least when consumed in excess before adulthood". In addition to causing memory impairment, adolescent sugar-sweetened also produced inflammation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls many learning and memory functions. "The hippocampus is such a critical brain region for memory function", says Kanoski. "In many ways this region is a canary in the coal mine, as it is particularly sensitive to insult by various environmental factors, including eating foods that are high in saturated fat and processed sugar."

Provided by Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Black students drink more soda when available at school

May 15, 2013

The availability of sugar-sweetened or diet soda in schools does not appear to be related to students' overall consumption, except for African-American students, who drink more soda when it's available at ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments