How to Manage Sugar for a Better Brain and a Longer Life – Colleen Cutcliffe, Ph.D. : 943

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IN THIS EPISODE OF THE HUMAN UPGRADE™...

…you’ll learn about emerging science that points to the effects of sugar on your gut microbiome and metabolism and the connections between sugar, your mental acuity and longevity.

Biochemist and molecular biologist Colleen Cutcliffe, Ph.D., continually searches for new ways to improve your gut health and help you live longer. As CEO and co-founder of Pendulum Therapeutics, she works to turn scientific discoveries into real products that hack and heal your microbiome and its associated body systems. At Pendulum, her team identifies and isolates new bacterial strains then combines those new strains to create unique probiotics.

“We really worked hard on ways to modulate post-postprandial glucose spikes through the microbiome,” Colleen says. The result? Pendulum’s Glucose Control lowers blood glucose spikes by 33 to 34% for people with type 2 diabetes. “What we didn't realize was how many people who don't have type 2 diabetes were going to end up benefiting from it.”

This conversation homes in on sugar management and a broad range of research that’s exploring what you can do about managing your glucose to keep up your mental acuity (less brain fog, sharper thinking) and live a longer life.

Science has discovered that as you age:

  • You have reduced ability to metabolize sugar.
  • Your microbiomes become less diverse and depleted of certain key strains that are important for sugar metabolism.
  • If you improve glucose control, you see reduced neuronal inflammation and improved cognition.

In the past decade, especially, sugar dominates a lot of the conversation around diet and health. It’s been studied, substituted, moderated, restricted and demonized. With that type of focus, you lose the bigger point.

“You can't completely cut out sugar,” Colleen says. “You do need sugar. Not all sugar is bad for you all the time. Every cell in your body, except for your colon cells, need glucose in order to survive, in order to replicate, in order to perform functions. All of the things that allow you to be a human being require some amount of sugar."

She wants you to know what’s happening to cause the change in metabolic processing as you age and what you can do about it, like:

  • How to understand your blood glucose range and what fluctuations mean.
  • How to track your blood glucose and what to do about peaks and dips.
  • How to improve your focus, sharpness and mental endurance through diet and fitness.

“I'm a scientist, so I'm always going to say more data is better,” Colleen explains. “[Especially] when you're trying to make improvements and you're making these micro-adjustments in your life, and you want to understand what impact are they having.”

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