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Just a Spoonful of Sugar… Could Increase Alzheimer’s Risk by 47%?


Evidence on the link between sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s disease is mounting. New research shows consuming quantities that most people wouldn’t consider “excessive” can substantially raise the risk of the developing cognitive decline.

Scientists from Columbia University studied 2,226 elderly people in New York City for seven years. None of the participants had Alzheimer’s at the investigation’s onset; during the experiment, 429 developed the disorder. Individuals who consumed 30 grams of sugar in food or beverages daily had a 33-percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those who consumed 5.8 grams daily.

It isn’t hard to consume 30 grams of sugar per day. A half piece of certain kinds of cake contains approximately this amount. Additional findings relating to sugary beverages were particularly concerning. Drinking one can of soda per day raised the risk of Alzheimer’s 47 percent compared to drinking one such beverage every 100 days. Consuming large amounts of punch and fruity beverages elevated the risk 27 percent. In addition, adding 2½ teaspoons of sugar to coffee or tea increased the likelihood 54 percent compared to drinking the beverages without sugar.

Too much sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes and previous research has identified type 2 diabetes as a risk factor for dementia,” said Dr. Doug Brown, Chief Policy & Research Officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, in response to the findings. “This study backs up this evidence, suggesting that excess sugar may increase our risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and all types of sugar – from fruit juice to lemonade – have the same impact.
“By cutting down on the fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes, and eating a varied and balanced diet, we will be able to reduce our risk of developing dementia in later life.” The results were presented recently at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago.

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Earlier Studies Link Sugar to Cognitive Decline

The new research came on the heels of a January 2018 study published in the journal Diabetologia that found high blood sugar is linked to cognitive decline even if it doesn’t reach the type 2 diabetes threshold. Therefore, blood sugar appears to be a predictor of brain function.

“In conclusion, our study provides evidence to support the association of diabetes with subsequent cognitive decline…Our findings suggest that interventions that delay diabetes onset, as well as management strategies for blood sugar control, might help alleviate the progression of subsequent cognitive decline over the long-term,” the authors said.

Still other studies suggest the connection between sugar and dementia may stem from brain atrophy. Research published in 2013 in the journal Neurology indicates the higher the level of blood glucose, the smaller the hippocampus, which is a structure in the brain involved in memory. A 2014 investigation published in the journal Radiology shows diabetics lose more gray matter with age, which accounts for why those with this disease have a higher risk of dementia.

The body of research implicating sugar with dementia is clearly incriminating. Because sugar is also linked to other serious ills such as cancer and heart disease, it’s best to limit the intake as much as possible.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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