Fructose linked to disease-causing changes in brain
Genes in the brain appear to undergo damage from a common dietary ingredient -- fructose.
Summarizing a new study, a UCLA news release notes, "A range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to changes to genes in the brain."
SEE ALSO: Can you smell your way to a better brain? Science says yes.
However, UCLA life scientists have also found that the negative effects of the sugary substance could be offset with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
The research specifically focuses on the benefits of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, which is a type of omega-3 found largely in fish.
During the experiment, rats trained to run a maze were given one of three drinks: Water with fructose, water with fructose and DHA, or plain water only.
While the sugar water group completed the same maze in half the speed as the control group which only had water, those consuming the sweet substance and DHA were able to match the fastest times.
Xia Yang, one of the researchers, is quoted as saying, "DHA...seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable."
As such, the team recommends that people reduce their sugar intake and increase the amounts of DHA, though the latter is not considered "a magic bullet for curing diseases."
RELATED: 6 ways to stay energized without caffeine or sugar