MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet appeared to improve the condition of mice with a rodent form of Alzheimer's disease, researchers report.
The study found this diet reduced levels of the brain protein amyloid-beta, an indicator of Alzheimer's disease. The finding contradicts previous studies that concluded that fat has a negative impact on Alzheimer's disease.
"This work supports the premise that key aspects of Alzheimer's disease can be altered by changes in metabolism. It also highlights the interaction of dietary components and how such components influence the metabolic state," the researchers wrote.
The study was led by Samuel Henderson, a researcher with the Colorado-based pharmaceutical company Accera Inc. Henderson's team also included researchers in Belgium.
The researchers believe insulin and a related hormone, insulin-related growth factor-1 (IGF-1), are major factors in how diet may affect Alzheimer's disease.
"Insulin is often considered a storage hormone, since it promotes deposition of fat but insulin may also work to encourage amyloid-beta production," the authors noted.
The findings appear in the current issue of Nutrition and Metabolism.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about Alzheimer's disease prevention.