Popular weight loss diet may also slash dementia risk in younger people, study finds

By Staff 5 Min Read

A study has shown that a specific type of diet can help you later in life if it’s followed, meaning that your risk of Alzheimer’s disease could potentially be slashed

We’re bombarded with so much information about different diets and health that sometimes it can be overwhelming – but scientists have found following one specific lifestyle change when you’re younger could help you later in life.

The Keto diet, which involves eating low amounts of carbohydrates while consuming high amounts of healthy fats and protein – along with vegetables and fruit, has been shown to potentially help prevent early mild cognitive impairment and memory loss, which is often associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The study, by the University of California, found that the diet may alter the way brain cells connect and communicate, and could prevent the early onset of the disease.

Gino Cortopassi, one of the study’s authors said: “The data support the idea that the ketogenic diet in general, and BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) specifically, delays mild cognitive impairment, and it may delay full-blown Alzheimer’s disease”, reports Gloucestershire Live. However, he made it clear that the data does not show that the diet can stop the disease in its tracks.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which almost a million people in the UK are currently living with. In the study, the researchers delved deeper into their previous findings, which indicated a 13 per cent increase in the lifespan of mice on a keto diet.

Animal models of Alzheimer’s disease were given a ketogenic diet for seven months, during which cognitive memory and synaptic plasticity, the adaptability of neuronal connection sites, were assessed.

Following consumption of a ketogenic meal, levels of circulating BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), produced during the keto diet, saw a notable rise in both male and female mice in comparison to the control group.

When researchers examined the brains of the keto-fed mice, they found the brain’s memory storage mechanism had been significantly ‘rescued’, so if the results transfer to human trials, it means the likelihood of suffering Alzeimer’s symptoms at a younger age will be reduced, and the diet will be hailed as a way to viably slow down Alzheimer’s.

If you want to eat a Keto diet, it’s recommended you discuss it with your GP first, as if you have certain medical conditions, it’s not advisable to follow it.

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