Controlling blood sugar levels helped improve thinking, learning and memory in overweight people with type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.
The US study examined 1 100 diabetics and those with better blood sugar control had improved cognition, short-term memory, planning, impulse control, attention, and the ability to switch between tasks.
“Every little improvement in blood sugar control was associated with a little better cognition,” noted researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in the US.
Lead study author, Owen Carmichael said: “It’s important to properly control your blood sugar to avoid the bad brain effects of your diabetes.”
“Don’t think you can simply let yourself get all the way to the obese range, lose some of the weight, and everything in the brain is fine. The brain might have already turned a corner that it can’t turn back from,” added Carmichael.
Diabetes is considered a global pandemic, affects up to 3.5 million South Africans and is the second most common cause of death in SA. It is reported as a risk factor for severe Covid-19 cases because high blood sugar levels may weaken the immune system.
The US study follows research in the UK which found that 30% of 24 000 people who reportedly died from Covid-19-related factors from March 1 – May 11 were diabetics.
“…Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were both independently associated with a significant increased odds of in-hospital death with COVID-19,” noted a report on the study published recently in The Lancet.
Health and wellness expert, Vanessa Ascencao, says poor blood sugar control and bad management of diabetes may contribute to various infections. In addition to eating healthily and exercising, diabetics should explore the various powerful natural supplements available to help balance blood sugar, she added.
“Berberine for example is a powerful plant compound, supported by scores of published studies and shown to help lower blood sugar, support weight loss and improve heart health. Bio-Berberine Complex is further enhanced by polyphenol rich SA green tea extract, Origine 8, to help improve insulin sensitivity and enhance metabolism,” she said.