Will lower sugar levels reduce dementia?

Sugar taxes could help in reduce dementia rates, a Scottish scientist will
will tell the audience at Alzheimer Scotland’s Christmas Lecture, Edinburgh Thursday, 3rd Dec.  It will also help people to start believing that dementia can be prevented, Prof Ritchie said.

Sugar tax has focused on obesity, but dementia expert Professor Craig Ritchie suggests it could tackle the devastating neurological disease affecting over 90,000 Scots.

Prof Ritchie, director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention at Edinburgh University, said people in their 30’s and 40’s already have diseases which cause dementia, and better lifestyle choices can increase the brain’s resilience.

The “incredible consumption of sugar” could lead to dementia rates rising in 20 years time due to increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes, he warned.

Prof Ritchie said: “We will achieve much through drug treatments, but the vast majority of our reduction in incidence is going to be achieved through public health policy.  “If we wanted to reduce the incidence of dementia by a substantial amount then we should put a big tax on sugar. “I don’t think there is any doubt that high glycemic index diets have an impact on the risk of diabetes, and a risk of you developing dementia in later life.

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