Wake Forest University School of Medicine has some good news. They think a special diet might help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that affects memory.
Why Everyone’s Talking About Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s isn’t just about forgetting names or keys. It takes away people’s memories, making their daily lives hard.
The Alzheimer’s Association says more than 6.5 million Americans live with it. And, sadly, many seniors pass away because of this or a similar disease. This is why finding ways to fight it is crucial.
The Diet in Question
Have you heard of the “keto” diet? It’s a diet with lots of fats, a good amount of protein, and very few carbs. When our bodies don’t get carbs, they use something called “ketones” for energy.
The researchers combined this keto diet with the Mediterranean style of eating. This means including foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil which are common in countries like Greece and Italy.
How the Study Worked
The research team picked 20 adults. Some of them had memory problems but didn’t have Alzheimer’s, while others were completely fine. They divided these people into two groups.
One group tried the Mediterranean keto diet, and the other ate a diet that was low in fat but high in carbs. They followed these diets for six weeks, took a break, and then swapped diets.
The researchers wanted to see if the diet changed the bacteria in the participants’ stomachs. So, they took samples from their guts.
What They Found Out
Here’s where it gets interesting: the diet seemed to change the gut bacteria in those with memory problems. These changes might be good for our brain health.
For instance, after the Mediterranean keto diet, there were fewer bacteria that make GABA, a brain chemical. Too little GABA might link to Alzheimer’s. The diet also seemed to increase bacteria that help manage GABA levels.
Plus, when participants had curcumin, a component of curry, their gut had fewer bacteria that deal with bile acids (stuff our bodies make to break down fats).
So, it looks like the Mediterranean keto diet, and some spices, could help adjust our gut in ways that protect the brain. However, more research is needed to confirm these ideas.
The Wake Forest University experts are hopeful. They think this study can open doors to new ways to prevent or maybe treat Alzheimer’s.
They’re keen on studying more about the link between our diets, gut bacteria, and brain.
Remember, eating right might be a part of keeping our brains sharp. There are other research papers that talk about how high blood pressure might harm our brains or how not having enough vitamin B12 could be risky.
If you’re keen on knowing more about keeping your brain in top shape, check out studies suggesting cranberries might be good for memory.
And there are also suggestions that the right foods and activities can guard against Alzheimer’s.
You can find all the details of this study in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia magazine.
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