You must log in or register to comment.

takingastep t1_j8nf49n wrote

>When threatened with the possibility of starvation, early humans developed a survival response that sent them foraging for food. Yet foraging is effective only if metabolism is inhibited in various parts of the brain. Foraging requires focus, rapid assessment, impulsivity, exploratory behavior and risk taking. It is enhanced by blocking whatever gets in the way, like recent memories and attention to time. Fructose, a kind of sugar, helps damp down these centers, allowing more focus on food gathering.

>In fact, the researchers found the entire foraging response was set in motion by the metabolism of fructose whether it was eaten or produced in the body. Metabolizing fructose and its byproduct, intracellular uric acid, was critical to the survival of both humans and animals.

>The researchers noted that fructose reduces blood flow to the brain’s cerebral cortex involved in self-control, as well as the hippocampus and thalamus. Meanwhile, blood flow increased around the visual cortex associated with food reward. All of this stimulated the foraging response.

>“We believe that initially the fructose-dependent reduction in cerebral metabolism in these regions was reversible and meant to be beneficial,” Johnson said. “But chronic and persistent reduction in cerebral metabolism driven by recurrent fructose metabolism leads to progressive brain atrophy and neuron loss with all of the features of AD.”

Fructose, as in "high fructose corn syrup"? It may reduce self-control and encourage people to seek out excess food for the mental reward stimulus? And long-term, repeated metabolism of it may contribute to Alzheimer's (which implies that excess consumption of it makes it happen even faster)?

Sigh. If I'm understanding that correctly, I'd think this would count as a motive for various food industries to intentionally use excessive fructose in various food products to manipulate people to buy excess food/drink against their will/better judgment. It would also probably count as evidence of harm caused by including it in food/drink products. One would need harder evidence to prove that they deliberately and knowingly did so, though.


PracticalShoulder916 t1_j8nhf59 wrote

I agree on all points. 'Sugar' will probably be responsible for more diseases than we currently know .


dogoodsilence1 t1_j8nt3yp wrote

“This leads to overeating of high fat, sugary and salty food promoting excess fructose production” sounds like every fast food joint who has definitely done studies on the response the brain brings when encountering such rewarding substances


Darkhorseman81 t1_j8pxxla wrote

They knew from 1908 to 1936. 100 human model studies 10s of thousands of animal model studies.

10% Sugar or fructose and 3% salt diet causes metabolic disorder and vasculature dementias.

They confirmed it all the way back then.


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_j8oal0j wrote

We already know a bit about fructose and how it compares to other sugars. I would avoid assuming that this was some intentional 4D science chess maneuver, though. The only real reason high fructose corn syrup is used is because it is cheap. The money they earn from fructose getting people to buy more food pales in comparison to the amount of money they saved using corn syrup instead of sugar.


CronoDAS t1_j8pdajx wrote

Sucrose (table sugar) is half fructose anyway. The only reason that high fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar in the United States is that, in order to protect American farmers, the government puts a limit on the amount of sugar that can be imported from foreign countries.


Krispyn t1_j8nqkmr wrote

>I'd think this would count as a motive for various food industries to intentionally use excessive fructose in various food products to manipulate people to buy excess food/drink against their will/better judgment.

It already is, I think. Fructose tastes much sweeter than the same amount of glucose, which is why so many fast-food products use high-fructose syrups. It is also known fructose does not induce satiety the way glucose does.


Faruhoinguh t1_j8oixpy wrote

This sounds as though it is a mechanism existing within all of us, meaning there should be high correlation between excessive fructose consumption and Alzheimers. I don't know if there is. Did they find something in people with Alzheimers like hyperactivity of the fructose foraging response? A higher level of a protein involved in it? Mind you I did not actually read the article


Spoonmanners2 t1_j8pot1h wrote

They haven’t found anything. It’s just an untested theory among many that could be true. It doesn’t explain the hereditary nature of early onset and would suggest diet it’s just diet — but then overweight people should get Alzheimer’s and thin people shouldn’t.


SackFlapJack t1_j8rgn72 wrote

i didnt take that article as meaning you have to be overweight to be at risk.


Fappinonabiscuit t1_j8qmwyx wrote

Is there any studies on bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s? The way they describe how this mechanism works, it really sounds like what I do when I’m not on keto. I have always felt I have more impulse control when in ketosis.

If this study has some merit I wonder if there’s some correlation between bipolar and Alzheimer’s which could explain the hereditary nature as bipolar is universally accepted as genetic. Also crazy to think all of these could be metabolic disorders.


onyerbikedude t1_j8w9log wrote

There could be a correlation between bipolar and alzheimers although my gut feel is that am sceptical of this. I have bipolar, had it for 26 years (developed it at 25 yrs old). I have always had a somewhat poor short term memory but I considered this was because I am usually thinking about several 'higher' topics rather than concentrating on the minutae of day to day functions. There has been demonstrated an association between abdentmindedness and high intelligence. And bipolar people are often highly intelligent. ..


AnonyJustAName t1_j939njo wrote

Check out the work of Dr. Chris Palmer. He has been doing a lot of interviews re: his new book Brain Energy.

Both bipolar and Alzheimer's have been linked to insulin resistance, along with diabetes, NAFLD, PCOS or ED in men, mood disorders, heart disease, some cancers and Alzheimer's. Dr. Ben Bikman's book Why We Get Sick is excellent at laying out the common underpinnings.


Fappinonabiscuit t1_j93nlwv wrote

I’ve not heard of him thanks for the suggestion I’ll pick that up tonight!


Oxyy30 t1_j8nqwwt wrote

Absolutely, then they add salt to balance out the sweetness.


pointlessvoice t1_j8ppg3j wrote

> In fact, the researchers found the entire foraging response was set in motion by the metabolism of fructose whether it was eaten or produced in the body.

This explains why i stand and stare the the open fridge after eating my less than healthy dinner.


Ixneigh t1_j8po3fw wrote

They knew early on that HFCS makes you want to eat more.


decayexists t1_j8pzbo0 wrote

What’s the implication here for eating fruit then? Cause I eat tons of fruit. Slightly worrying


Darkhorseman81 t1_j8q1ljn wrote

Fruit has Fibres and other chemicals that counteract the effects, to some extent. For example, Inositol is an Insulin mimetic.

It's mainly super concentrated Sugars and Fructose.


Darkhorseman81 t1_j8pxsyw wrote

Yes. They have always added it to food to make us eat more.

Uric acid is also an signalling molecule that tells us to pack on fat for winter. It activates the ARYL Hydrocarbon receptor, which blocks the function of the circadian genes that regulate metabolism.

Its how Bears and Squirrels pack on fat and prepare to hibernate.

Certain substances like Fructose trap us in a constant pre torpor like state. The government and food industries have known this since 1908-1936.

I've taken to calling the modern obesity epidemic GMMD. Government Mandated Metabolic Disorder.

It should really take off in the academic journals.


takingastep t1_j8py41t wrote

Does it have to be "government-mandated" as opposed to "corporate-mandated"? 'Cause I feel like regulatory capture by big corporations is closer to the root of the problem than any government regulations. Then again, I suppose that's not a question for this sub.


Darkhorseman81 t1_j8pyadv wrote

It's a bit of both. I say government Mandated because all their food pyramids and diet advice are a recipe for diabetes, and they are well aware of this.


takingastep t1_j8pyly1 wrote

I see. I'd suggest that it's more corporate-mandated, because were it not for the undue influence of corporations in government, the government might have put out more sensible diet advice that led to healthier outcomes. I'm aware that that's just speculation.


Darkhorseman81 t1_j8q08gk wrote

Wait until I tell you the wonderful story of the Saturated Fatty Acid Palmitate. How it dysregulates Glucagen Like Peptides.

You see those expensive new diabetes drugs? All they do us switch back on GLP-1; which Palmitate, in high concentrations, switches off.

Now get this, the Government tells us to eat low fat foods to lose weight. But, low fat foods aren't a food group anymore because they cannot carry fat soluble vitamins.

How do they address this? They add Palm Oil or Palmitate as a carrier of fat soluble vitamins in low fat food and spreads like margarine. Especially those 'Cholestrol lowering' margarines (don't get me started on the lies around cholestrol)

They tell us to eat low fat foods to lose weight, and give us a nice big helping of metabolic disorder along with them. Chemically induced diabetes.

Like Cheshire Cats, the last thing you see are the Narcissistic smirks of Lobbyists disappearing into the shadows behind the politicians behind these regulatory guidelines.

P.S the sellers of Low Fat Palmitate Rich food have heavy investments in Insulin and Diabetes drug companies.

They know precisely what they are doing.


twoisnumberone t1_j8q6s4e wrote

But the government does not tell us to eat low-fat foods? It tells us to eat healthy foods, which include nuts, avocados, olives, and other high-fat plant nutrients…


TequillaShotz t1_j8qcy7u wrote

> If I'm understanding that correctly, I'd think this would count as a motive for various food industries to intentionally use excessive fructose in various food products to manipulate people to buy excess food/drink against their will/better judgment. It would also probably count as evidence of harm caused by including it in food/drink products. One would need harder evidence to prove that they deliberately and knowingly did so, though.

80% of packaged foods (in some mini-markets, it's closer to 100%) have added fructose. They are not adding it accidentally. They're adding it because they know it increases sales.


TinyCatCrafts t1_j8qt57o wrote

I can't digest fructose. American food is already a landmine.


solinaceae t1_j8r4jpw wrote

Fructose doesn’t also stimulate the satiety hormones unless it gets converted into glucose first, which only a portion of it does. So you’re hungrier on a fructose diet than a glucose diet.

And a metabolic pathway to process it in the liver can lead to fatty liver disease.

But let’s put it in all our food and drinks.


Dnuts t1_j8o9h12 wrote

Definitely needs more research but if in fact diets high in fructose end up being the catalyst for AD then that’s a massive indictment of the processed food industry.


rarokammaro t1_j8olqnd wrote

Honestly explains a lot of cultural attitudes. I’m from an island where it’s very normal to live to your 90s and beyond. Being an island, external food is expensive so we tend to eat lots of rice and beans, plantains, tubers, and fish.

I get really weirded out and sad when American Redditors argue with me that anything past retirement age is old, out of touch, and bordering on senile. It seems very ageist to me seeing as how I know plenty of people over 67 who are healthy and sharp as tacks. It’s incredibly disrespectful in my culture.

Treating someone who is barely 70 as knocking on death’s door makes a lot more sense to me now if their diet is full of high fructose and it’s accelerating AD symptoms.


hannananabatman t1_j8q0mk0 wrote

Our old people are overwhelmingly bigoted jerks too so it might be that some people try and play that off as senility when in fact they just don’t care about others and never have.


geft t1_j8q5285 wrote

Don't forget the lead.


floopyxyz1-7 t1_j8sbvk3 wrote

100% agree I have an idiotic cousin who constantly tells me certain members of the family are "Old and senile, they don't know better! That's what happens when you get old! Their mind is gone!" I'm like... she's 42.


Sunlit53 t1_j8nswgu wrote

Weird, my Dad always used corn syrup on his waffles and pancakes. I never liked it, there was something missing in the flavour of it. Never found it sweeter than real maple syrup. I don’t drink pop either.

I wonder if this has been looked at in the context of adhd. The foraging mindset described is very similar to someone with adhd in a state of hyperfocus. Time blindness, impulsivity, risk taking and blocking out anything that doesn’t relate to that one subject/activity/object. A state of obsessive monofocus that disregards all else.


ridicalis t1_j8oeufu wrote

>Weird, my Dad always used corn syrup on his waffles and pancakes.

I grew up thinking "Mrs. Butterworth's" was maple syrup. I think most people are probably actually just using flavored corn syrup without knowing it.

Also grew up thinking margarine was "butter."


Sunlit53 t1_j8ofj03 wrote

Yeah, I discovered the real thing after moving out on my own and haven’t touched the fake crud in decades. Breakfast as a kid was usually a sugar loaded breakfast cereal that turned the milk weird colours.


btribble t1_j8q7tem wrote

I'm in my 50's and Froot Loops are a great once-in-a-decade treat. Don't diss weirdly colored milk! Also, they've changed a lot. They're bigger, foamier, and have far less coloring than they used to. They're frankly not nearly as good as they used to be.


RickyDontLoseThat t1_j8ndwbz wrote

It's all that high-fructose corn syrup they put in everything, isn't it?


notsurewhattosay-- t1_j8nsc9g wrote

Is it true we can't even digest high fructose corn syrup??


Fortified_mouthwash t1_j8ojhb0 wrote

Most people can, but some people have fructose intolerance/malabsorption or even sucrose intolerance (similar to lactose intolerance where they can't make enough of an enzyme).

After it's absorbed, fructose goes straight to the liver, and unlike glucose (which in excess is stored as glycogen), the liver doesn't really know what to do with excess fructose, so a good chunk of it is stored as liver fat.


[deleted] t1_j8nyavq wrote



DecentChanceOfLousy t1_j8o427j wrote

It's worth saying that this is true of almost all food. There are tons of essential nutrients that you basically can't absorb or use without gut bacteria, which is why microbiomes are so important for digestive health.

The fact that fructose has to be broken down first (in the liver) is essentially trivia (and information about what you can eat after antibiotics/surgery) rather than some deep statement about what is "natural" for humans to consume (which I think is what the comment you responded to was implying).

Edit: I think fructose is actually broken down in the liver, not the digestive tract. The point still stands though: the digestive system is complex, and the chain being more than one step long is normal.


p00ponmyb00p t1_j8ogwyz wrote

adult male liver can handle about 50g/day, after that starts giving you diseases IIRC


zengal108 t1_j8nv4zg wrote

And make us pay extra for ‘sugar free’ ketchup, peanut butter, yogurt etc.


hannananabatman t1_j8q0ttb wrote

Yogurt is fairly easy to make yourself actually.

They all are but you have to make small batches cause things spoil very quickly without preservatives


marcopolo1613 t1_j8sg06g wrote

You can get a nylon paint strainer bag from the hardware store, and it works really well for straining homemade yogurt. You can get a cottage cheese like density and it is really good with fresh fruit. I use a gallon of milk and get about a half gallon of yogurt cheese out of it, and it keep for weeks in my experience.


Riptide360 t1_j8nds6a wrote

Wow this is a big insight on how a sweet tooth leads is related to memory loss.


BBTB2 t1_j8oxhpz wrote

Is this where we discover high fructose sweeteners cause Alzheimer’s ?


hellschatt t1_j8qetp1 wrote

No. We don't have that stuff over here and people still get Alzheimers.

Haven't read the study, but OPs summary mentions fructose in general. So some fruits would cause that effect too.


hiraeth555 t1_j8qrttp wrote

Sugar is half fructose


hellschatt t1_j8rmgjt wrote

Yes, but the body absorbs sugar and free floating fructose in a different way.

Not sure if that affects anything related to the study though.


happilyfour t1_j8q4cem wrote

If i understand this right, though, this is a factor that could create a tendency, not a causal connection? I hope it leads to treatment options.


Everyusernametaken1 t1_j8phmzd wrote

My grandmother had and my mom has alz . They moved to the states when my mom was 12 from a small fishing village in NB around 1958. They went from eating fish and home grown foods ... to American processed which was really starting to be popular. Throw in air pollution ... there just has to be some correlation.


Gloomy-Emphasis t1_j8qzuot wrote

Here is what I don't get: Why does eating a fruit enhance the ability to search for fruit?

If you imagine a person starving then they need food. So currently they don't have this enhanced searching ability, so they fail and starve. And a different person finds a tree with fruit and now they can find another tree with fruit, BUT they already have one?!

So for me it makes more sense to have the starving person forget everything else and focus on searching and the non-starving person can rest.

What I'm trying to say is, how do the researchers know that this is a foraging adaption pathway?


Inblact t1_j8sg2wu wrote

They science harder than we do (also evolution can result in unfavorable evolutions)


War_Hymn t1_j8tkk77 wrote

I think it's a seasonal response telling you to fatten yourself before winter comes (or dry season if you're in the tropics). Most fruits mature around late summer/early autumn (or close to the end of the wet season in the tropics). So that's when you're going to be hit with a fructose rush, which tells your brain, "hey, tough times ahead, better go out and find food while you can!".


Vlad_bat_vaca t1_j8ro0f4 wrote

So if I have my husband hide a chocolate covered strawberry everyday and I go look for it will decrease my chances then I am in!!


AutoModerator t1_j8nd1zo wrote

Welcome to r/science! This is a heavily moderated subreddit in order to keep the discussion on science. However, we recognize that many people want to discuss how they feel the research relates to their own personal lives, so to give people a space to do that, personal anecdotes are allowed as responses to this comment. Any anecdotal comments elsewhere in the discussion will be removed and our normal comment rules apply to all other comments.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


TinyCatCrafts t1_j8qt1sk wrote someone who cannot digest fructose...

insert "I'm in danger!: meme


War_Hymn t1_j8tjz4r wrote

Wonder if this is a seasonal biological response? Most fruits (which contain high fructose content) are ripe and edible in late summer/early autumn in temperate climates or near end of the wet season in tropics. Could be the brain telling itself to gorge on as much food as possible in preparation for harsher and food scarce conditions.


p00ponmyb00p t1_j8o2pd7 wrote

studies showing sugar has no impact on child hyperactivity BTFO