Richard Alleyne writes in the Telegraph
Researchers found that mice fed meals similar to those of the original Atkin’s Diet had brains five per cent lighter than all the others.
They also found that the hippocampus part of the brain, which is responsible for memory, were less developed in those rodents on the high protein diet. Scientists say the findings, published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration, suggest the ravages of dementia “might be slowed or avoided through healthy eating”.
Previous research has discovered Mediterranean-style low-calorie, low-fat diets rich in vegetables, fruits, and fish may delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used mice specially bred to develop Alzheimer’s.
The animals were fed either a regular diet, a high fat-low carbohydrate diet, a high protein-low carb version or a high carb-low fat option. The researchers then looked at the brain and body weight of the mice, as well as plaque build up associated with Alzheimer’s.
They were surprised by the smaller brains of those given the high protein-low carb diet. Mice on a high fat diet had raised levels of plaque proteins, but this had no effect on them.
Professor Sam Gandy, a neurologist of The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said: “The most unexpected result of our study was the loss of overall brain mass associated with a high protein-low carbohydrate diet.
High protein diets are used for weight control, and those diets sometimes combine high fat and high protein, which may be doubly damaging, if the high fat increases the accumulation of plaques and the high protein sensitizes nerve cells to the poison released by plaques.”
Read more on the Telegraph