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High protein diet 'may increase Alzheimer's risk'

High protein diet 'may increase Alzheimer's risk'
23rd October 2009

A diet high in protein could lead to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, new research shows.

Researchers from the UK, US and Canada tested four menus on transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's, which express a mutant form of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP).

The mice fed a high protein/low carbohydrate diet had brains five per cent lighter than the others and regions of their hippocampus were less developed.

These findings led the authors to put forward a tentative theory that a high protein diet may leave neurones more vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease plaque.

"Given the previously reported association of high protein diet with ageing-related neurotoxicity, one wonders whether particular diets, if ingested at particular ages, might increase susceptibility to incidence or progression of Alzheimer's," said lead author Sam Gandy.

He called for further trials to assess whether there is a real chance that Alzheimer's disease could be slowed or avoided through healthy eating.

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