Can your blood glucose regulation affect your memory?
This study investigated how the ability to control the levels of blood glucose was related to mood and cognition (Young H, Benton D, 2014).
155 adults, aged 45-85 years, without a diagnosis of diabetes, were given an oral glucose tolerance test and cognitive tests.
The researchers found that those with poorer glucose tolerance forgot more words and had slower decision times, but only if they were 61 years or older.
The next study on the same topic included 93 healthy male and female non-diabetic participants who ranged in age from 55 to 88 years (Messier C, 2010).
The researchers measured cognitive function as well as other things. The participants also had a glucose tolerance test during which glucose and insulin were measured.This was done after drinking a saccharin solution and on another occasion after drinking a glucose solution (50 g).
The results showed that progressively worse glucose regulation predicted poorer performance on measures of working memory and executive function.
The researchers stated that the results suggest that cognitive functions may be impaired before gluco-regulatory impairment reaches levels consistent with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
The change from being insulin sensitive to being insulin resistant is a gradual process. This shows that it is really important to keep your blood glucose at a low and normal level not only after you have fasted, but also after eating. Ideally it should be below 90 two hours after a meal.
The sooner you implement strategies to stay insulin sensitive the better it is.
You can stay insulin sensitive by making changes to the way you eat and by incorporating exercise into your routine.
Messier C, Tsiakas M, Gagnon M, Desrochers A. Effect of age and glucoregulation on cognitive performance. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Oct;32(8):809-21.
Young H, Benton D.The nature of the control of blood glucose in those with poorer glucose tolerance influences mood and cognition. Metab Brain Dis. 2014 Sep;29(3):721-8.
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