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Western diet rich in cholesterol may up risk of Alzheimer's, says study

Study compared the effects of a poor diet on groups of mice that had Alzheimer's-associated genes

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

According to scientists, this new link with Alzheimer's disease should make us even more wary of the sugar intake in our diets, given that its already known to be bad for diabetes and obesity (Photo Courtesy: istock)
According to scientists, this new link with Alzheimer's disease should make us even more wary of the sugar intake in our diets, given that its already known to be bad for diabetes and obesity (Photo Courtesy: istock)

Western diet, rich in cholesterol, fat and sugar, may significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer's in people who carry a linked to the neurodegenerative disorder, a new study warns.

and are two variants of a that codes for a protein, apolipoprotein E, which binds fats and to transport them to the body's lymphatic and circulatory systems and to the


The variant is linked to increased inflammation, Alzheimer's and and appears in around 10 to 15 per cent of the population, researchers from University of Southern California (USC) in the said.

ApoE3, which does not increase the risk for the disease, is a much more common variant appearing in an estimated 70 to 75 per cent of the population, they said.

The team compared the effects of a poor on groups of mice that either had the Alzheimer's-associated or the relatively benign variant of the gene,

They placed a group of mice with on a control that was 10 per cent fat and seven per cent sucrose, while another group of mice with ate a Western that was of 45 per cent fat and 17 per cent for 12 weeks. A similar test was run on mice with

The team found that on the unhealthy diet, both the mice with and those with gained and became pre- diabetic.

But most significantly, those with on the unhealthy quickly developed more Alzheimer's plaques - a marker for inflammation - in their brains, that obstruct and memory but those with did not.

However, Alzheimer's symptoms did not worsen for the mice that ate a Western diet, researchers said.

"What happens to you in life is a combination of the genes that you have, the environment and behaviours, such as diet," said Christian Pike, professor at USC.

"Our thinking is that the risk of Alzheimer's associated with obesity is going to be regulated to some degree by the genes that we have," Pike said.

The study was published in the journal

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 13:45 IST
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