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Dementia Risk Increased by Poor Diet

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerJune 24, 2015

A new study contributes to the growing amount of research concluding that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are linked to poor diet. The study done at the Meritorius University of Puebla (BUAP) in Mexico concluded that “diabetes and poor diet is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”

Learn more about this study and the strong link between poor nutrition and neurodegenerative disease.

High Caloric Diet Can Increase Dementia Risk

Samuel Trevino Mora, a scientist from the Meritorius University of Puebla (BUAP), fed rodents a high caloric diet to determine the effects of a poor diet on brain health.

Unsurprisingly, after years of feeding the rodents a poor diet with high caloric intake and glucose concentrations, the rodents developed diabetes. Mora then measured the effects that the diet had on the brain and found inflammation and neurodegeneration in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, two major parts of the brain responsible for memory.

He concluded:

“With a diet based on high carbohydrates, neurodegenerative conditions arise [that are] associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”

Mora went on to express concern for his countrymen stating, “The diet of Mexicans is based on high caloric content, junk food and poor implementation of foods that we (mistakenly) think are healthy, like large quantities of cereals, drinks with high portions of sucrose or light foods containing fructose as a sweetener.”

Effects of Poor Diet on Cognition

Mora also noted that poor diet can affect the cognitive ability of children, not just seniors who may be facing an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.

A child that grows up overweight or obese who develops diabetes can experience cognitive impairment earlier in life since childhood obesity could be correlated with knowledge retention, poor learning ability and consolidation of information.

He said: “We are talking about a progression from childhood that causes premature aging of the brain, similar to brain conditions observed in patients from 70-80 years of age, and occurring currently in people between 50-60.”

This study is the latest in a string of studies stressing the importance of diet in good brain health. What do you think about the connection? Can bad nutrition cause Alzheimer’s and can good nutrition prevent the disease? Will these new studies change the way you eat?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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