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September 2010

The Right Diet Could Help Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

An article published in The FASEB Journal reports the discovery of Temple University researchers of the benefit of a low methionine diet in slowing or reversing early to moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease in an animal model.*

The researchers divided mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease to receive a high methionine diet or a healthy (control) diet for 5 months, following which the group receiving the methionine-rich diet was subdivided to receive the same regimen or the healthy diet for two months. Mice on the methionine-rich diet had higher homocysteine levels and significant behavioral impairments at 5 months compared to the control group. While those that remained on the high methionine diet continued to show elevations in homocysteine, those that were switched to the healthy diet experienced reductions in homocysteine as well as improvements in fear-conditioning performance and a decrease in brain amyloid levels, which are elevated in Alzheimer’s disease.

Editor’s note: A byproduct of methionine metabolism is homocysteine, which when elevated has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as cardiovascular disease. Adequate B vitamin intake can help reduce homocysteine production. Those who consume red meat often have higher methionine levels.

—Dayna Dye


* FASEB Journal. 2010 Jun 2.

Greater Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Associated with Delayed Age-Related Hearing Loss

Greater Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Associated with Delayed Age-Related Hearing Loss

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals the finding of a protective effect for omega-3 fatty acid and fish consumption against the development of age-related hearing loss.*

Australian researchers evaluated data from participants in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study of age-related hearing loss. Greater total omega-3 fatty acid intake upon enrollment was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss, and increased long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a reduced risk of developing hearing loss over follow-up. A reduction was also observed among those who consumed at least 2 servings of fish per week, who had a 42% lower risk of hearing loss at the five-year follow-up compared with those who ate one serving per week. Additionally, a reduced risk of hearing loss progression was observed in those who consumed one to two servings of fish per week.

Editor’s note: Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA).

—Dayna Dye


* Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun 9.

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