Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 09 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Frances of Rome
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Is your daily bread setting you up for Alzheimer’s?

Woman Breaking Bread


Calah Alexander - published on 08/01/17

Specialists say the link between blood sugar and the brain is so strong they're calling the disease Type 3 diabetes.

Well, this is something new. According to Big Think, the research linking Alzheimer’s and diabetes is now so strong that some Alzheimer’s specialists have proposed calling Alzheimer’s Type 3 Diabetes.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Insulin doesn’t merely signal the body’s somatic cells to take up glucose; it also governs the brain’s uptake of glucose. And glucose is what powers the brain. It’s the brain’s primary energy molecule.

Apparently the link between diabetes and cognitive decline was first observed hundreds of years ago by physician Thomas Willis, but the 2011 publication of the Hiyasama study cemented the link in medical research. This study established an irrefutable link between diabetes and all-cause dementia, finding the incidence of dementia among 1,017 initially disease-free patients to occur at significantly higher rates in those patients with diabetes.


Read more:
Glowing mice heads lead to potential Alzheimer’s breakthrough

Given the spiking rates of juvenile diabetes and type II diabetes in the U.S., I find this particularly alarming. If dementia is indeed a manifestation of insulin resistance, it follows that we would begin to see the same spike in dementia symptoms at younger ages that we’ve seen in diabetes symptoms.

However, this link does point to a potential treatment avenue for Alzheimer’s — treating the insulin resistance. In fact, some doctors are confident that dietary changes (including drastically reducing carbohydrate and sugar intake and increasing fat and cholesterol consumption)  can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s in the same way they have proven to reverse the effects of diabetes.

Woman Eating Ice Cream

Read more:
The big reason you should give up sugar–and the best way to do it

That would be a pretty spectacular development, actually. A treatment that doesn’t require expensive pharmaceuticals and can be accomplished relatively easily at home is something most Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers never expected, so hopefully we’ll see some successful clinical trials.

In the meantime, though, this highlights once again how detrimental sugar is to our health, and how important it is to restrict sugar intake — particularly in our children.

FoodHealth and Wellness
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
10 Mysterious things to know about guardian angels
Philip Kosloski
5 Important things to notice in a Catholic church
Philip Kosloski
10 Things you should know about St. Joseph
Philip Kosloski
7 Breathtaking miracles that can restore your faith in God
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope calls us to Abraham’s hope: Full text of address in Ur
Ziggurat of Ur
John Burger
Pope’s trip to Iraq is like a pilgrimage to a Holy Land
Pope in Iraq: Schedule and key events
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.