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Jan 18, 2006

Fizzy drinks 'boost memory'
Press Association - January 15, 2006
Fizzy drinks, the scourge of healthy diet campaigners, can improve your memory, according to experts.

Consuming the equivalent of two cans of soft drink can boost memory retention by a fifth and combat dementia in older people, neuroscientists from Glasgow Caledonian University have found.

Psychology lecturer Dr Leigh Riby, who led the research, said people studying for exams could benefit from increasing the amount of sugar in their diet.

He focused on an area of the brain known as the hippocampus, which creates new memories but declines with the onset of dementia.

Dr Riby used a series of memory tests and brain-imaging techniques to assess how volunteers responded after guzzling sugary drinks. He found the hippocampus lit up with activity after participants had a sweetened drink and they were able to recall 17% more than without a drink.

He said: "It is widely accepted that when humans face a stressful situation they experience a natural rise in glucose in the body, particularly in the hippocampus.

"They also tend to remember these dangerous or scary occurrences more clearly than other memories. This glucose-memory system has evolved to help humans survive. Unfortunately, it is compromised in old age."

Twenty-five volunteers aged between 18 and 52 years old took part in the study and were asked to remember a list of words.

Those that drank orange-flavoured water containing 25g of sugar, about the same as a can of Coca-Cola, could remember 11% more words. If the participants consumed twice that amount of sugar, they showed a 17% improvement.

They were also around 100 milliseconds faster at remembering sets of letters shown to them a few minutes earlier.


Last updated: 01/17/2006 - 02:14 PM
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Wednesday January 18, 2006, 5:29 am
Tags: sugar memory diet [add/edit tags]

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