PEOPLE can protect themselves from Alzheimer’s disease by changing their diet, a new study suggests.
US and Australian scientists have worked out how glycotoxins, a feature of western diets, can lead to dementia. Their research, published today in the journal PNAS, found that glycotoxins disabled protective enzymes known as sirtuins.
This allowed plaques to build up in the spaces between the brain’s nerve cells.
Glycotoxins abound in processed and sugary foods, particularly those cooked at high temperatures. They are linked to diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, but scientists have been unsure how.
In the new study, white mice lost the ability to think and move normally after they had been fed glycotoxins at levels similar to a western diet. Tests revealed they had low sirtuin levels, and that plaque deposits had developed in their brains, along with insulin resistance — a precursor to diabetes.
Mice fed half the amount of glycotoxins did not experience these problems.
A clinical study of almost 100 healthy New York residents, all aged at least 60, supported the findings. Participants with high glycotoxin levels in their blood had low sirtuin readings, and they experienced cognitive decline and insulin resistance over the course of the study.
Sydney neuropsychiatrist Perminder Sachdev, who was not involved in the study, said the findings were “biologically plausible”. He said scientists had long known that glycotoxins were harmful and that diabetics were prone to brain disease.
He said tests on fruit flies and mice had shown that higher sirtuin levels could boost life expectancy by up to 50 per cent.
“They have been called the ‘longevity molecules’,” said Professor Sachdev, of the University of NSW’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.
He said other mechanisms could explain the link between diabetes and dementia. One possibility was that insulin resistance itself caused dementia because insulin had a role in brain preservation.
He said whatever mechanism was at work, the message was the same. Low-calorie diets with lots of green leafy vegetables, fibre, fish and olive oil — Mediterranean diets, for example — could help protect the brain.
Source: The Australian
Comment: The dietary advice here is repetitive, simplistic and – boring. But this is another argument, although it is amazing how long it takes the establishment – and the medical “evidence” it relies on – to tell us what we have already found out and know.
We believe that this is a limited window into a huge, massive, gigantic problem: refined sugars and processed foods, as well as pointing an indirect arrow at the fat argument.