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Can Alzheimer's Be Slowed By Eating Less?

Earlier this fall, I posted an article about a study that found making simple lifestyle changes -- better eating habits, staying physically and mentally active and reducing stress -- can dramatically alter one's chances of suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the positive. New research that restricted the diets of mice has bolstered this view.

Reducing the diet of mice slows the build-up of plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's disease. And, with obese people generally considered to be at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's, the study raises questions about whether the findings are potentially applicable to humans.

Researchers used mice whose DNA had been altered with human genes from two families with early onset hereditary Alzheimer's, that were then split into two groups as young adults: One that could eat all it desired and the other that had its food intake reduced by 40 percent over four weeks.

In diet-restricted mice, both the amount and size of plaque dropped by about half over the mice that ate as much as they wanted.

EurekAlert December 14, 2004

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