Brains like REAL food and drink!

September 3, 2021

Artificial sweeteners could be potentially harmful to our all-important gut microbiome according to recent research.

I say this over and over when it comes to eating and drinking for brain health, dementia risk reduction and to give yourself the best possible chance of a healthy, happy later age: eat food that is as close as possible to the way it came from the ground, tree, bush, waterway or pasture.  

Sure, some sweet substances widely touted as being ‘natural’, might originate in nature; but the most commonly consumed artificial sweeteners – those in diet, sugar-free or ‘zero’ sugar soft drinks (sodas) especially are chemical substances that are not normally found in natural liquids.

I have an admission to make here – I don't like artificial sweeteners – to me all of them taste metallic, no matter how ‘natural’ they are touted to be. But many people do like them and many believe them to be completely benign.

This recent research suggests otherwise: these researchers found that far from being benign, they suggest some artificial sweeteners can impair the capacity of the vitally important bacteria in our guts (the microbiome) to interract in the way they should.

A good mix of the right bacteria, interacting in a healthy way in the gut, help nourish the gut wall and facilitate vital communication between the bacteria. Both are essential to the health of the brain, and the body overall. Protected cells in the gut wall help stop substances that are not meant to make it through the wall and into the blood from getting there and communication between bacteria and ultimately with the brain is essential for ongoing brain health.

Learn more in Part 3 (Brainworks) of Brain Body Food.

More blog posts from Ngaire

Prevent delirium - Eat, Walk, Engage

April 22, 2022

Delirium is very common during hospital admissions for older people - it greatly increases the challenges faced in caring for people and reduces their chances of going home promptly

Read this post

Parkinsons Diet resources

April 11, 2022

April is Parkinson's Disease (PD) Awareness Month, and if you live with PD and are in your late 60s or beyond, combining what's best for you as you age with what you need to manage PD is vital to living the best life possible into later age.

Read this post

an Apple a Day does help keep the doctor away!

April 5, 2022

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" may be an old saying but it has plenty of truth to it. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals which have excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Read this post