Sugar sweetened beverages and the gut-microbiota-brain axis.
Are your students interested in the potential ill effects of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) and/or the the importance of a healthy gut microbiota? A recent article in the journal Translational Psychiatry reports that adolescent rats given access to water sweetened to the same level as soft drinks showed impaired cognitive development and altered gut microbiota. They further demonstrate that when the specific strains of bacteria that were enriched in the gut of SSB feed rats were transferred to the gut of adolescent rats they in turn showed impaired memory in adulthood. This provides support for a direct effect of the gut microbiota on brain development and function. "Gut microbial taxa elevated by dietary sugar disrupt memory function."https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01309-7.