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University researchers

Sweet substances plays a role in weight gain and loss


After searching through nearly 8000 trials and 10,000 cohort studies published internationally, the researchers found 68 studies that directly looked at the effects of free sugars on body weight.

Analysis of the combined results of these studies showed that reducing free sugars in the diet has a small but significant effect on body weight in adults – an average reduction of 0.8 kg. Increasing sugar intake was associated with a corresponding 0.75 kg increase in body weight.

This parallel effect, they suggest, seems be due to an altered energy intake, since replacing sugars with other carbohydrates did not result in any change in body weight.

The evidence was less consistent in children, mainly due to poor compliance with dietary advice. However, for sugar-sweetened beverages, the risk of being overweight or obese increased among children with the highest intake of sugary drinks compared with those with the lowest intake.

 In an editorial published alongside the research in BMJ, US researchers backed the study, calling for action to limit dietary sugars particularly in soft drinks, saying “Reducing the amount of sugar consumed in drinks deserves special attention because of the strength of the evidence and the ease with which excessive sugar is consumed in this form”.

The authors of the research, led by Prof Jim Mann, conclude that “when considering the rapid weight gain that occurs after an increased intake of sugars, it seems reasonable to conclude that advice relating to sugars intake is a relevant component of a strategy to reduce the high risk of overweight and obesity in most countries.”

In another study consucted by Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) stated last May that Eeating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower, In other words, eating too much fructose could interfere with insulin´s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar, which is necessary for processing thoughts and emotions.

"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," said Gomez-Pinilla a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

He also held that "Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new. 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."

Full paper

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