Health care providers have long been prescribing healthier low fat diets to patients for a variety of health benefits from weight loss to improved cardiovascular health. A recent study, published in the Archives of Neurology shows that low fat and low GI diets may have more than just physical benefits.
Researchers evaluated a group of nearly fifty older adults with an average age of 69 who were divided into two groups. The first group ate a low fat diet rich in carbohydrates that ranked low in terms of glycemic index like beans, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. The second group ate a higher fat, higher glycemic diet that included foods like red meat, butter and soft drinks.
At the outset of the study researchers tested the spinal fluid of all participants for biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease like increased levels of beta-amyloid. After a month on the prescribed diets tests of the spinal fluid were performed again. Researchers identified increased levels of beta-amyloid as well as other signs of inflammation and damaged associated with the development of Alzheimer’s among the high fat diet group.
Though this was only a small scale study the results are very encouraging. If these results can be replicated in future studies it could give health care providers another powerful and easy to implement strategy in protection patients from developing a very serious form of dementia.