How many times have you been told that sugar is bad for you over the past year?
It seems like every day, scientists are coming out with new research about the detrimental effects of your favorite sweetener, saying it causes everything from weight gain to addiction.
Luckily, however, thanks to researchers at UCLA, it looks like we now have a solution to the problem.
Scientists at UCLA recently published the results of a study on the effects of fructose on rats. While researchers found that high levels of fructose caused brain damage, precipitating dangerous genetic mutations, they also discovered that eating foods high in docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, could reverse sugar’s harmful effects.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found most abundantly in wild salmon. However, if fish is not your thing, DHA is also present in walnuts, flaxseed, and fruits and vegetables.
Scientists observed that while rats fed high amounts of fructose performed only half as well as the control animals, rats that had been fed both fructose and DHA were completely unaffected by the sweetener. In everyday language, this means that DHA canceled out the detrimental effects of sugar in rats.
Xia Yang, an assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA who worked on the study, explained the sugar-canceling effects of the acid by saying, “DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable.”
While the study was conducted on rats, researchers believe the results could apply to humans as well. This is especially important because the average American eats 27 pounds of sugar a year -- far beyond what is healthy for the human body.
In light of this research, however, we suggest that you head to the grocery store and buy some wild salmon before celebrating the study’s findings with dessert tonight!