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Protein-rich diet 'may shrink the brain'

Protein-rich diet 'may shrink the brain'
21st October 2009

A low-calorie diet that is rich in protein could contribute to the brain shrinking, according to new research.

Previous studies have indicated that a diet high in fruits, fish and other meat could slow the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

However, new research published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration indicates that a high protein diet can lead to a smaller brain.

The researchers from the US, Canada and the UK had initially set out to compare the impact of different triggers on brain plaque formation.

However, the researchers were unable to find a clear link between the loss of brain mass associated with the diet and the development of AD plaque in the brains of the tested mice.

Professor Sam Gandy, lead author of the study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said: "One wonders whether particular diets, if ingested at particular ages, might increase susceptibility to incidence or progression of AD."

However, he advocated further clinical diet trials to test the effects of this particular diet on AD.

Recent research by scientists at the University of Kuopio in Finland indicated that elevated cholesterol levels in midlife significantly increase the risk of AD and vascular dementia in later life.

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