Another reason to keep your blood sugar under control, whether or not you have diabetes: Elevated blood sugar can increase age-related cognitive decline. This was supported by a study in Diabetologia in April 2018, which included nearly 5,200 English people over age 50, most of whom did not have diabetes or prediabetes at the start.
They were given cognitive tests as well as blood tests every two years, on average, for a decade. When researchers correlated the participants’ cognitive scores with their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels overtime, they found that cognition declined more as HbA1c rose, regardless of diabetes status at baseline. HbA1c is the best indicator of long-term blood sugar levels and of diabetes control.
Diabetes may harm the brain in many ways—for instance, by damaging blood vessels, increasing inflammation, and inducing amyloid plaque formation.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see The Best Diet for Prediabetes.