Eating a Western diet of burgers and soda drastically increased risk of Alzheimer’s in lab mice, study reveals
Eating the Western way increases the risk of Alzheimer’s, according to lab results.
Constantly indulging in fatty and sugary foods, such as burgers and fries, leads to unhealthy weight gain, decades of studies show.
Now research claims the intake of these types of foods not only leads to obesity but also increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.
The new study was conducted on mice but previous findings from August also found the same link between these two factors and humans.
The Western diet was found to drive up cholesterol and Alzheimer’s-influencing proteins that create blockages and destroy the brain.
The study was conducted by neuroscience graduates at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Researchers stated that individuals with the inherited gene of APOE4, which is around 12 percent of Americans, have an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
They claimed obesity was also an important risk factor for the brain disease and tested their hypothesis on mice.
Mice with APOE4 were fed a Western diet and were more likely to become obese.
These mice also had proteins and cells that were characteristics of Alzheimer’s.
The beta-amyloid protein and glial cells harm the brain by causing nerve cell death and inflammation damage.
Meanwhile rodents with APOE3 were fed the same fatty foods, but did not have the same increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
The Western diet is characterized as foods high in sugar and fat, which are typically found in the American diet.
A study conducted by San Francisco’s Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center found a similar link between the diet and brain disease in August 2016.
Dr William Grant, the lead author of the landmark review said Americans have a higher average risk than most other nationalities of developing the degenerative brain disorder.
He added that it is likely due to the Western diet, which drives up cholesterol and Alzheimer’s-influencing proteins that create blockages in the brain.
Dr Grant warned the most important dietary link to Alzheimer’s appears to be meat consumption, with eggs and high-fat dairy also contributing.
Obesity is also a factor in developing brain disease, the new California study claimed.
A University of California Riverside study found in January that the Western diet makes overeating feel euphoric, which then leads to weight gain.
To test the theory, the study had one group of mice put on a Western diet and another group fed a low-fat, low-sugar diet.
Over 60 days, the mice on the Western diet rapidly gained body weight and became obese.
These mice also displayed ‘hyperphagia’, meaning they consumed significantly more calories, and consumed significantly larger meals at a much higher rate of intake (calories per minute).
Going hand-in-hand, the obese mice experienced greatly elevated levels of endocannabinoids in the small intestine and general circulation.