Sugary Drinks:- Linked to Long-Term disease for children!!
Did you know the gut health in childhood links to their long-term health and brain function?
Many studies over the years have proved the link between sugar and health time and time again. A recent study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, drawing on the work of Dr Scott Konoski, has found a link between childhood consumption of sugary drinks, and long-term health issues, along with the effect on brain function.
A widely known fact in the dental field is that consumption of sugary drinks, especially in childhood, can lead to serious oral health issues later in life. Sugar (if you read our last blog), turns to acid in the mouth, which can then cause decay on the teeth.
This study has gone further than the effects of sugar on the mouth; but how sugar can affect your long-term health via the gut.
Gut health, especially in childhood, is something that is so important to get right.
Our guts are linked to all the activity in our brains; as it really is the fuel system that allows our brain to function the way it does.
In childhood, our patterns and habits for eating and our palate for tastes are set up. Children who eat high sugary diets will tend to have a lifestyle and eating pattern as an adult that is also high in sugar.
The long term affects this can have on children later in life, is one riddled with non-communicable diseases, such as type II diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
This study has gone on to find the connection between consumption of sugary drinks and how this can affect children’s brain function into adulthood.
Using rats to test how sugary drinks impact the activity of the hippocampus which allows us to process emotional memory, and the perirhinal cortex, which plays a vital role in sensory perception and memory; revealed that it does indeed affect one of these two areas of the brain.
They stated that “The rats that consumed high levels of sugary drinks had more difficulty with memory that uses the hippocampus. Sugar consumption did not affect memories made by the perirhinal cortex.”
They also noted that there was a different gut bacterium in the rats that consumed the sugary drinks. This is an important finding as gut bacterium affects brain activity, as the sugar consumption impacts the transmission of electrical signals between nerve cells.
So, what does this mean for children?
Major health implications, such as obesity; which has been linked to heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, joint pain and many other non-communicable health issues, including oral health disease!
Children who drink higher volumes of sugar, will have a different gut bacterium, than those that don’t. This bacterium can affect how the cells in the body talk with each other. As it slows the electrical connection between cells. This in turn affects brain function, which means later in life your children may have trouble recalling things.
Surly now you are second guessing the sugary drink to complement your child’s dinner.
The good news is that you CAN reverse the effects of the sugar consumed by your child. We and the World Health Organisation recommend a diet full of fruits and vegetables, and proper nutrition for a well-rounded healthy diet, as well as at least 1 hour a day of exercise.
Ensure you brush and floss twice a day to remove their risk of oral health disease too and come to see Dr. Martina for your 6 monthly check ups!