High-Fat Diet Boosts Brain Proteins Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

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A high-fat, high-glycemic-index diet increases the concentration of proteins in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published by the American Medical Association. Researchers at the University of Washington assigned 47 older adults, some of whom already had mild cognitive impairment, to either a high-fat, high-GI diet or a low-fat, low-GI diet. Within four weeks, the high-fat diet increased the production of lipid-depleted Aβ, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s risk. The low-fat diet had the opposite effect. An accompanying commentary in the journal supports the finding that dietary choices can affect brain chemistry quickly and effectively.

Hanson AJ, Bayer-Carter JL, Green PS, et al. Effect of apolipoprotein E genotype and diet on apolipoprotein E lipidation and amyloid peptides. JAMA Neurol. Published ahead of print June 17, 2013.

Blacker D. Food for thought. JAMA Neurol. Published ahead of print June 17, 2013.

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