The ketogenic diet (KD) is a way of eating that may help people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
This is because the diet can protect the brain from seizures and help with problems related to metabolism. The bacteria in our gut (called gut microbiota) play a big role in this process.
They help with the effects of the ketogenic diet and also help to break down cholesterol.
To study this, researchers looked at the gut bacteria and other substances related to brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or those with normal brain function.
The participants were put on either a low-fat American Heart Association diet or a high-fat modified Mediterranean KD (MMKD) for six weeks.
Then, they took a break for six weeks before switching to the other diet.
The researchers collected stool samples at five different times to see how the gut bacteria and other substances changed during the different diets.
The results showed that people with MCI who followed the MMKD had less of a certain type of bacteria that makes a substance called GABA.
This is important because GABA helps to calm the brain and prevent seizures. However, these same people had more of another type of bacteria that helps to regulate GABA levels.
This could be a good thing because it may help to keep the brain from becoming overactive.
The researchers also found that people with MCI who ate curcumin (a spice found in curry) had a different mix of gut bacteria and a slower digestive system.
This could be good because it may help to prevent things from moving too quickly through the gut and prevent problems related to gut health.
Overall, the results suggest that MMKD may be helpful for people with MCI because it can change the levels of certain gut bacteria and substances that affect brain function.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but a healthy diet and lifestyle may help reduce the risk.
Here are some foods that have been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s:
Leafy green vegetables: Studies have found that people who eat more leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, have a lower risk of cognitive decline.
Berries: Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are high in antioxidants, which may help protect the brain from damage.
Nuts: Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, are a good source of healthy fats and vitamin E, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
Whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal, are a good source of fiber and other nutrients that may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Fish: Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
In addition to these foods, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight, get regular exercise, and limit alcohol and tobacco use to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was conducted by Amanda Hazel Dilmore et al and published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
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