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Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e318244201e
Feature Article

The Science of Sugars, Part 4: Sugars and Other Health Issues

Schorin, Marilyn D. PhD, RD, FADA; Sollid, Kris RD; Edge, Marianne Smith MS, RD, LD, FADA; Bouchoux, Ann MSW

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Abstract

Sugars are a key dietary component. In fact, the central nervous system (ie, the brain) contains cells that have an absolute requirement for the sugar glucose. In addition to the glucose requirement, sugars are also consumed for their pleasant taste and ease of digestion. The role of sugars in dental health, behavior, and mental and physical performance has been studied. All fermentable carbohydrates, including sugars, contribute to the etiology of tooth decay, but dental researchers who recommend tooth decay prevention efforts also focus on factors other than sugar intake that may have a greater impact, such as good dental hygiene routines that include regular toothbrushing and use of fluoride toothpaste. Numerous scientific studies have failed to support the theory that sugar consumption leads to hyperactivity in children. However, research does support a positive link between sugar consumption and cognitive ability, particularly in the elderly and those with memory impairment, although more research is needed.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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