Got a sweet tooth? If so, you may have a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s the latest word from Richard Jacoby, M.D., a peripheral nerve surgeon who notes a growing body of scientific research has tied sugar to dementia — in addition to the sweet stuff’s well-known association with diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
In a new book, “Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health,” Dr. Jacoby explains that sugar damages a key nerve is tied to the brain’s memory center known as the hippocampus — as well as the sense of smell.
“The olfactory nerve, which controls our ability to smell, passes through a very tight tunnel to reach the nose, making it more susceptible to the damaging effects of sugar,” he tells Newsmax Health. “Part of the olfactory nerve nucleus is the hippocampus …and an early sign of Alzheimer’s is a lack of smell.”
In fact, docs sometimes detect Alzheimer’s using a “peanut butter test” — asking a patient if he or she can detect its strong odor when it is held up to the nose. Other clues: When an older woman wears a ton of perfume, not knowing how strong it is, or a man adds a lot of spicy tabasco sauce to food because he can’t taste or smell it.