A High fat diet linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's

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Saturated fats & sugar fuelled diets may damage your brain…

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A study has found that diets full of fat and sugar could lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The new research has furthered theories that following a diet that is good for your heart, is in turn good for your brain.

The study found that participants who ate a diet high in saturated fat, with lots of beef, bacon and high-glycaemic index foods like white rice and white bread showed an increased level of a protein called amyloid-beta in their cerebral spinal fluid.

A build up of this protein has been found to be one of the key contributors to 'brain plaque,' which can start to kill off brain cells.

The Alzheimer's Society explains the theory, saying it is an, 'accumulation of this sticky protein fragment in the brain that triggers the disruption and destruction of nerve cells that causes Alzheimer's disease. The accumulated clumps of beta amyloid are known as amyloid plaques.'

By comparison, people who ate a low fat diet, rich in chicken, fish and whole grains had lower levels of amyloid-beta.

One reason may be that being on a high fat diet can lower the levels of insulin in the brain, which is thought to be involved in clearing this amyloid-beta away.

'Diet is a very important factor in determining brain health,' explained study researcher Suzanne Craft, a professor of medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

'The types of food we eat, particular dietary patterns that happen over long periods of time, are likely to have a substantial impact on our brains to the point where they may either protect or increase your risk of developing late-life brain disease like Alzheimer's disease,' Craft added.

The research was only carried out for a month on 47 adults, so obviously more extensive testing is needed, however it is part of growing evidence that following a heart healthy diet is good for people's general wellbeing and brain function.

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