Can fat fight Alzheimer’s?

New York: A new US study has concluded that a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate may prevent the build up of a brain protein common in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In the latest study mice not people were tested on a high-fat, low-carb ‘ketogenic diet’. Scientists found that amounts of the brain protein amyloid-beta were reduced in the mice on the ketogenic diet. Their findings contradict previous studies which have shown that fatty diets and the resulting high cholesterol levels and obesity can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

In Alzheimer’s deposits of amyloid-beta, called plaques, build up in the brain interfering with the transmission of messages between cells and can eventually kill them.

The research was carried out by team research company Accera in the US and published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism.

When carbohydrates are very low and fat is high, compounds called ketone bodies are generated. These could play a role in the reduction in amyloid-beta seen in the mice used in the study. Other research has shown improvement in patients with mild Alzheimer’s who were given a diet to raise ketone bodies.