Western Diet and Alzheimers.

logo1267406_mdIn a study published online in Nature Scientific Reports researchers studied the connection between the western diet and Alzheimer’s based upon previous research that found that a combination of eating a western diet and inactivity contribute to as many as 25 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. In the study mice that were healthy and mice that modeled some aspect of Alzheimer’s were fed a Western diet consisting of high amounts of animal protein, fat and sugars with low plant=based content and nutrient density for 8 months.  this represented the equivalent of late adolescence to early middle age in humans.

Researchers found that the prolonged consumption of the western diet led to a dramatic increase in immune response activities in the brains of all mice, including those that did not model Alzheimer’s disease. There was increased activity of microglia, which functions as the brains immune cells, and monocytes, circling white blood cells that may cross into the brain in response to immune signaling. Findings also strengthing previous associations of the western diet and the development of peripheral inflammation and also that the immune activity in the brain increases Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility. All mice also had a significant increase of microglia/monocytes that express TREM2, a key immune regulatory protein. TREM2 has been strongly linked with suceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.  However, this was the first study to show an increase on TREM2 cells in response to prolonged consumption of a western diet.

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