Feeding and dementia

January 12, 2015

Feeding and dementia

Worthy of note is the new definition that scientist Suzanne de La Monte of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, proposes for the ever more evident association between bad eating habits and resistance to insulin: type 3 diabetes, which follows insulin dependent diabetes and food-related diabetes. This definition was formulated following the latest experiments, which demonstrate that laboratory animals fed with foods rich in sugars and saturated fats show a veritable cognitive decline, up to dementia. In cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes it is also a mediator of inflammation, hence the connection: the inflammation appears to involve the cerebral substance, opening the way to the deposit of amyloids. The increase in foods rich in saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, arachidonic acid, with a high glycemic index tends to elevate levels of cellular inflammation, among which TNF, IL6, IL 18, with an associated resistance to insulin.
A study elaborated at Washington University confirms the research done in past years confirming the close connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Although the study included a small number of patients, the results are clear: the favorable effects of insulin work especially on the mitochondrion, the organs that represent the “electrical powerhouse” of the cell, and that are damaged in patients with Alzheimer’s.
Admittedly this is preliminary evidence with cellular systems in vitro, but its importance is clear since it stimulates the research that will lead to new therapeutic strategies in the fields of neuronal neurodegeneration and the associated cognitive decline.
Suzanne Craft, of Washington University administered foods rich in sugars and fats to a group of individuals and compared the resulting data to a control group kept on a diet with a low glycemic content. The result was that the cerebrospinal liquid showed an increase in beta amiloids, the protein that damages cerebral areas, which leads to Alzheimer’s. These studies have induced the medical community to open the door to new researches in this direction, such as the use of oral antidiabetics in the control of Alzheimer’s and better eating habits that eliminate foods rich in fats and saturated sugars, the so-called “junk foods”, to prevent important risks at metabolic and neurocognitive levels.