They find the secret that links high-fat diets to Alzheimer’s disease

A team of researchers led by the University of Rovira e Virgili (URV) has identified a link between consumption foods high in saturated fat and development Alzheimer’s disease. The discovery is the result of a study that focused on how this diet affects certain molecules present in the blood and other tissues, including the brain, that act as indicators and modulators of disease.

The study used a mouse model that developed Alzheimer’s disease as adults. Previous studies have already shown that a high-fat diet led to the development of the disease much earlier in these animals compared to those on a standard diet. However, the mechanisms that accelerate disease progression have been unclear until now.

The research direction was supervised Monica Bullo, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology and member of the Research Group on Nutrition and Metabolic Health (NuMeH) and the Center for Environmental, Food and Toxicology Technologies (TecnATox) at URV. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV), CIBERobn and the University of Barcelona, ​​and the results were published in a journal. Nutrients.

Dietary strategies that help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease

The researchers examined the expression of 15 microRNAs (miRNAs), which are small RNA molecules essential for gene regulation, in both plasma and brain tissue. They analyzed changes in insulin-related microRNAs in mice predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease and fed a diet high in saturated fat.

“The study results represent progress in understanding the mechanism that could explain the relationship between obesity, type 2 diabetes and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The results showed that the diet negatively affected their metabolism, resulting in significant weight gain and decreased sensitivity to glucose and insulin, similar to what is seen in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition, changes were detected in several microRNAs in both the blood and brain. These changes are associated with processes that can harm the brain, such as accumulation of β-amyloid plaquesuncontrolled production of certain proteins that can damage brain cells and cause brain inflammation, also associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Researcher Monica Boullo emphasized that “the results obtained in this study represent progress in understanding the mechanism that could explain the relationship between obesity, type 2 diabetes and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, they offer new targets for possible disease prevention and treatment.”

This work not only provides valuable information about how a high-fat diet can compromise brain health, but also suggests future directions for research into dietary strategies as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The results highlight the importance of maintaining a balanced diet to prevent neurodegenerative diseases and highlight the role of miRNAs as targets for therapeutic interventions.

Fountain: University of Rovira and Virgili (URV)

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