Dementia

31 October 2008

High fat diet, Alzheimer's risk

A high-fat diet may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, suggests a study with genetically engineered mice.

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A high-fat diet may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, suggests a Canadian study with mice genetically engineered to produce two proteins - tau and amyloid beta - found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

The University of Laval team fed a diet rich in animal fat and poor in omega-3 to one group of mice, and a diet that contained seven times less fat to a control group of mice. The mice on the high-fat diet (in which fat accounted for 60% of consumed calories) had 8.7 times more amyloid beta and 1.5 times more tau than the control mice, United Press International reported.

Mice on the high-fat diet also had lower levels of drebin protein in their brains, another characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. "Metabolic changes induced by such a diet could affect the inflammatory response in the brain," said study co-author Carl Julien, UPI reported.

The study was published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. – (HealthDay News, October 2008)

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