Updated 01 February 2017

Diabetics groggy after fatty meal

Fatty meals may cloud the brains of people with type 2 diabetes, but antioxidant vitamins can help clear the fog.

Fatty meals may cloud the brains of people with type 2 diabetes, but antioxidant vitamins can help clear the fog, Canadian researchers demonstrated in a study they conducted.

The findings suggest, the researchers say, that memory impairment after heavy meals in type 2 diabetics is related to oxidative damage.

The findings shouldn't be interpreted to mean that people can avoid the harmful consequences of fatty foods and "bad carbs" by popping vitamin pills, Dr Carol Greenwood of the University of Toronto, who was involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

Fatty food impairs cognitive function
In the study, Greenwood and colleague Michael Herman Chui had 16 men and women with type 2 diabetes who were 50 and older eat three different meals at three separate weekly sessions: a Danish, cheddar cheese and yogurt with whipped cream; water only; or the same meal plus 1000 milligrams of vitamin C and 800 international units of vitamin E.

They found that people performed worse on tests of verbal recall and working memory 105 minutes after eating the high fat meal. But when they took vitamins with the meal, they did just as well on the tests as they did after drinking water.

The cognitive effects observed in the study were subtle, but large enough to impair performance, Greenwood said in an interview. "It kind of makes the 50-year-old brain more like the 75-year-old brain," she explained. And these effects could accumulate to cause lasting damage, according to the researcher.

Greenwood said studies are planned using brain imaging to look at what exactly happens in the brain of diabetes patients after a heavy meal. – (Anne Harding/Reuters Health)

SOURCE: Nutrition Research, July 2008


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules