Reduce Your Chances of Dementia by 42%. Maybe.

The first study of its kind has demonstrated a link between cognitive decline and a condition of high blood sugar which can be reversed.


How’s your blood sugar? If your blood still contains a higher than normal amount of sugar after a whole night's sleep and no breakfast, you may be classified as prediabetic; a step towards full-blown type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that eighty-eight million people in the US are prediabetic, and 84% of that jaw-dropping number are ignorant about their condition. That’s one in three people at risk of diabetes, a condition strongly associated with cognitive health issues.

Recent research from the UK has uncovered what many people have suspected for some time; that high blood sugar may be playing a role in cognitive decline before type 2 diabetes takes over.

The study

Scientists at the University College London (UCL) delved into the dataset of 500,000 people with an average age of 58. They discovered that prediabetic people increased their chances of cognitive decline by 42% over four years. In their group, vascular dementia, caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, was raised by 54%. Even after age, low socioeconomic status, smoking, body mass index (BMI), and cardiovascular disease were accounted for, these numbers remained.

The researchers cannot definitely say that high, fasted blood sugar causes these brain illnesses because their study is observational, not a clinical trial. However, given the existing and increasingly strong evidence that diabetes mellitus increases the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, it’s not an enormous leap of faith.’s the thing, do you need to wait until you’re told definitively one way or the other. What’s the worst that can happen?

The next step

The UCL study is unique in its findings because the links between prediabetes and cognitive decline have not been assessed until now. To sharpen the correlations, another large data set of people will need to be examined. If the same links exist, researchers…



Tim Rees

Registered clinical nutritionist. At war with autoimmunity. Diets & tips on website. The Nutrition Chronicles (Substack). Meat eater.