A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.


By Nina Pajak

Put down the leftover pumpkin pie, and slowly back away from the even older Halloween candy. That’s it. Don’t even think about reaching for an early Christmas cookie. Let’s go. Nice and easy. I said, back. Away.

Oh, maybe you didn’t understand me. It’s probably because you’re dumb now. I’m not saying that to be mean. It’s true. But it’s not your fault.

Blame it on the high fructose corn syrup.

A recent study out of UCLA finds that high levels of that sugary junk can possibly make us slower-witted and, well, stupid. On the other hand, it seems that omega-3 fatty acids can make all the dumb go away.

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Scientists first tested their rats in a maze over the course of five days. Then they began feeding one group of rats water dosed with high fructose corn syrup, and another group the same water, but with an added supplement of omega 3s. After six weeks, they sent the rats back into the maze to see how their diet may have affected performance. Oh, and affect it did. Said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science, according to the UCLA Newsroom online.

“‘The second group of rats navigated the maze much faster than the rats that did not receive omega-3 fatty acids,” Gomez-Pinilla said. “The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.'”

In other words, they got dumber.

If you want more science behind it, read the article. But from what I understand, high fructose corn syrup blocks insulin’s natural ability to communicate with brain cells. Synapses misfire, signals are crossed, and you are just never getting out of that maze, friend.

So the moral of the story? I guess the actual moral of the story is that even if you continue drinking tons of soda and eating lots of crap, omega 3 fatty acids can counteract the idiocy brought on by all that junk food. But if we were to take this one step further and not be lazy about it, we might also come to the conclusion that with NO high fructose corn syrup and the addition of omega 3 fatty acids, our brains would be unstoppable. Right?

Whatever, I’m no scientist. I don’t even know if any of this makes sense, because between Thanksgiving and my birthday I’ve eaten nothing but sugary junk food like 27 hours a day, thirty-twelve days a month last week. Hey, this is better than vodka.

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