CNN Food and Health

Dose of sugar may make you smarter

breakfast

November 2, 1995
Web posted at: 8:20 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Carolyn O'Neil

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Breakfast has long been promoted as the most important meal of the day, fueling bodies and minds at the start of the morning. Studies have, in fact, shown that children perform better if they eat breakfast. Now a psychologist at the University of Virginia thinks he has discovered the reason for that.

Dr. Gold

Dr. Paul Gold found that in his studies on rats and humans, subjects that were given a dose of glucose sugar could think better.

test

In one test, Gold's human subjects drank lemonade sweetened with either glucose sugar or saccharin. They then heard a short story and were later asked what they remembered of the story. Results revealed that people given glucose sugar tended to recall more.

Glucose seemed to enhance memory even among people with cognitive disabilities like Alzheimer╣s disease, Gold said. But he quickly added, "It doesn't mean that I think everyone should consume large amounts of sugar so they could get smarter."

brain

Gold, who presented his research at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association, stressed that his work on glucose and brain function had more to do with understanding how the brain works than making diet recommendations.


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