Doctor warns popular breakfast drinks could be ‘destroying your brain’

3 min read

Whether you can’t imagine starting your day without a freshly brewed cup of coffee or an ice-cold glass of juice, Dr Daniel Amen, psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist and director of the Amen Clinics, has bad news for you.

The expert explained that these two common drinks could be “destroying your brain”. 

Explaining what drinks can do more damage to your brain than you think, he revealed that some of the “worst” options include coffee and fruit juice.

Recalling a lesson he attended at his daughter’s school, he said he listed 20 drinks on a board and asked the class to separate them in terms of which ones are “brain-friendly” and which ones aren’t.

Speaking to Steven Bartlett on a recent episode of The Diary Of A CEO, the psychiatrist said: “They got 19 out of 20 right, so most people know, but the only thing they got wrong was juice. 

“They put it in the healthy category, when in fact when is it rational to unwrap fruit sugar from its fibre source, because it turns toxic in your body, so I’m not a fan of fruit juice.”

When asked by Steven about what it is that makes juice bad for the brain, Dr Amen explained the popular drink is proinflammatory and can lay the harmful groundwork for diabetes. 

The health expert added: “It’s ultimately going to give you high blood sugar levels, which erode your blood vessels and you’re going to have lower blood flow to your brain.

“That’s a bad thing. And I mean there’s so many things about it, it’s addictive, it’s pro-inflammatory, it makes it more likely you’re going to have diabetes and obesity.

“Sugar is the gateway drug to diabetes and obesity, and not to mention inflammation, which is the cause of depression and dementia.”

On the other hand, low blood sugar levels could also harm the brain. Therefore, Dr Amen also recommended avoiding caffeine.

The doctor said: “Caffeine constricts blood flow to the brain by 30 percent.” Revealing just how bad low blood flow can be, he explained that it is the “number one brain-imaging predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease”.

He continued: “It’s the most common drug, it’s addictive. I mean a little bit is fine, but more than a little bit is not fine.

He said: “It blocks adenosine, the chemical that tells you to go to sleep, and so many of my patients stop [drinking coffee] and uniformly tell me they feel better.”

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