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Fatty Diet Could Cause Alzheimer's

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High fat diet could be a risk factor for obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

Eating a high fat diet for  a long term could lead to obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, Kohjima M and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas suggest.

The researchers fed a transgenic mouse model for Alzheimer's disease a high fat diet and compared them with controls fed a normal diet or wide-type mice for a number of measurements.

During 4 to 8 weeks of age, caloric intake was similar in both groups of mice.  At 12 weeks, the high-fat-diet fed mice increased their caloric intake with a peak intake found at 16 weeks.  In comparison, those using a normal diet did not increase their caloric intake.

This suggests that the high fat diet can damage the mice's control for caloric intake.

Additionally, the researchers found the increase in caloric intake in the high fat diet fed mice paralleled an increase in the level of amyloid beta-peptide40 and amyloid beta-peptide42.

This hints that the high fat diet can lead to the production and accumulation of amyloid beta-peptides increasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

At 16 weeks, the high fat fed mice became obese and insulin resistance.

Then the researchers restricted caloric intake in the high fat fed mice by pair-feeding a caloric intake identical to that of the normal diet fed  mice. This completely prevented the high fat diet fed mice from becoming obese and insulin resistant.

At the same time, they observed a decrease in the expression of the anorexigenic neuropeptide, brain-derived neurotrophic factor leading to abnormal feeding behavior and increased caloric intake and eventually resulting in obesity and insulin resistance.

The study reported in the April 2010 issue of Endocrinology demonstrated that a high fat diet caloric intake can change feeding behavior and increase caloric intake, which in turn increases risk of obesity, insulin resistance and  Alzheimer's disease.

Type 2 diabetics are at the high risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, Bourdel-Marchasson I and colleagues from University V.-Segalen Bordeaux 2 reported in the June 2010 issue of Diabetes Metabolism.

The life span of mice is from 1.5 to 3 years, meaning that a person eating a high fat diet from childhood to age 50 may be at risk of obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

By David Liu

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