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Do carbohydrates protect against dementia?
Researchers have now found that a low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet can help improve brain health. This led to the assumption that eating carbohydrates could also help protect people from developing dementia.
Scientists at the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney recently found that a diet high in carbohydrates but low in protein improves mouse brain health. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Cell Reports".
There is currently no cure for dementia
The experts observed that such a form of nutrition leads to various advantages for the brain. These particularly affect the area that is responsible for learning and memory. The scientists hope that these benefits could have a protective effect against dementia. There are currently no effective pharmaceutical treatments for dementia. So far, it has only been possible to slow the onset and spread of the disease. That is why it is particularly important to identify certain diets that affect the age of the brain, explains study author Devin Wahl from the University of Sydney.
People should limit their calorie intake
So far, limiting calorie intake has been the best way to improve brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease in rodents, the expert added. However, the majority of people have difficulty limiting calories, especially in western societies where food is so freely available, Wahl continues.
Investigation focused on hippocampus
In the study, the scientists particularly focused on the hippocampus, which is the first part of the brain to deteriorate in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. The results found in mice support the fact that this form of nutrition can also be beneficial for general health and brain health in humans during aging, the experts said.
People often consume a lot of proteins
The researchers tested possible effects on learning and memory through spatial perception and memory tests. They found that dietary improvement in overall brain health and brain health was present in both male and female mice at a young and advanced age. The mice received 20 percent fat, five to 19 percent protein and a different amount of carbohydrates in their diet. In comparison, it is quite possible that people eat a diet that is 40 percent based on proteins.
Mediterranean nutrition could be beneficial
People in many parts of the Mediterranean have long consumed a low-protein, high-carb diet, as have people in Japan, where the traditional diet is only nine percent protein and high in sweet potatoes. These people usually have good health even at an advanced age, which could be due to the effects of the diet. In the western world, however, a protein-rich, low-carbohydrate diet has become increasingly popular. (as)