Health care professionals settle on different recommendations when it comes to the appropriate range for blood sugar levels. A recent study published in the journal Neurology determined that lower blood sugar levels could prevent memory loss.
People with diabetes run the risk of developing memory loss if they fail to monitor their blood sugar levels. Our brains run at a high metabolic rate and require a constant flow of sugar to fuel neurotransmission, reports Diabates.co.uk.
A total of 141 people around the age of 63 who did not suffer from diabetes or prediabetes were recruited for the research. The study did not include people who were overweight, showed poor thinking and memory skills, or drank over three-and-a-half servings of alcohol each day.
After each participant’s blood glucose levels were monitored, participants were asked to complete a test by recalling a list of 15 words they had heard 30 minutes ago. Researchers also conducted brain scans to measure each person’s hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory.
Results showed that people with lower blood glucose levels were able to remember more words compared to people with high blood sugar. People with lower blood sugar also displayed higher levels of activity in the hippocampus.
"These results suggest that even for people within the normal range of blood sugar, lowering their blood sugar levels could be a promising strategy for preventing memory problems and cognitive decline as they age," said the study’s lead author Agnes Flöel, M.D., of Charité University Medicine in Berlin, Germany. "Strategies such as lowering calorie intake and increasing physical activity should be tested."
Although Dr. Flöel and her colleagues are confident that lower blood sugar levels equate to better memory skills, keeping blood glucose levels at an even keel is still important to our health. According to the American Diabetes Association, blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dl could lead to a condition known as hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia’s symptoms include nausea, anxiety, mood changes, fatigue, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and even seizures. Bottom line, the appropriate blood sugar level varies from person to person. If you are worried about what fluctuating levels can mean for your health, visit your doctor to discuss strategies for keeping your blood sugar at the appropriate level.