Dying for a burger: Eating junk food may raise your risk of getting Alzheimer’s

Eating junk food could increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, research suggests.

Scientists found that eating meals rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol triggered changes in the brain associated with the early stages of the debilitating disease. Their study adds to the growing evidence that eating healthily can cut the odds of developing Alzheimer’s, a dementia affecting 400,000 Britons. The number is forecast to double within a generation, so any method of cutting the number of cases would have a huge impact on public health.

Researchers in Sweden looked at the effect of a junk food diet on mice genetically altered to be prone to Alzheimer’s. The creatures’ brains were tested after they were fed a diet laden in fat, sugar and cholesterol for nine months.

Researcher Susanne Akterin, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: ‘On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the Alzheimer brain.’ Her tests showed the food altered the formation of a protein called tau which forms tangles inside the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, causing brain cells to shrink and die.

The study also suggested that cholesterol cut levels of a brain protein called arc that is key in storing memories.

Source - Daily Mail