Memory Loss and Obesity - The Sugar Connection
Whether in the mainstream news or as a topic for comedian's jokes, these
days we hear a lot about the massive numbers of overweight people in the U.
S. We also hear about the tragedy of memory loss, particularly in the aging
population. Is there a connection between these two events? As it turns
out, there is.
The connection comes from how our bodies deal with sugar. I won't bore you
with the technical details, but suffice it to say that when we don't
process sugars efficiently, our bodies create a kind of sticky substance
within and between our cells.
This sticky stuff, often called "A.G.E." (short for Advanced Glycation
End-products), creates no end of health problems. Among these are stubborn
weight gain, impaired focus and memory and a general lack of energy.
A.G.E. forms when the cells have more sugar than they can use. Since they must do something with the excess, they 'cook' the sugar with
proteins to create a caramel-like substance. In fact, the process of
forming A.G.E. is called 'caramelization.'
To visualize this, imagine what happens when you leave a pot of milk on the
stove on a low heat. When you come back several hours later you don't have
a full pot of milk, but rather 1/4 of a pot of caramel. The sugar and the
protein in the milk have combined and now take up less space.
Now imagine how much more difficult it is for your body to function
normally when it is working against this kind of sticky internal
obstruction. You might compare it to slogging through a swamp. It can still
do what it needs to, but much more energy is required to do anything. It
creates an enormous energy drain.
In Chinese medicine, the creation of this sticky stuff is call "Dry
Phlegm." Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Although Dry Phlegm is classically
associated with the lungs, I've found that it can show up anywhere in the
body. It can be a factor in everything from nerve pain to weight gain to
impaired mental functioning.
The solution? First of all, stop adding more sugar into your system than it
can handle. That way no additional stickiness forms. In addition, there are
acupuncture and herbal remedies that can help your body begin letting go of
the sticky stuff.
You need to be aware that it takes time and persistence to remove A.G.E. In
the same way that it's not easy to clean a pan coated with caramel, you
won't get rid of A.G.E. overnight.
The good news is that you can start the process today by
eliminating refined sugars from your diet. Doing so will greatly reduce the
likelihood of long-term weight, memory and other health problems later on.
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