Worried that you inherited an Alzheimer’s gene? It may not be your genes as much as your environment and lifestyle that trigger it. A growing amount of evidence suggests that diets high in sugar and fat can cause Alzheimer’s, New Scientist reported. It’s already known that bad diets cause diabetes. But now, some researchers think that Alzheimer’s is “just another form of diabetes,” New Scientist said.
As the Guardian reported, the theory that Alzheimer’s is a kind of diabetes was first floated in 2005.
“The association between Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes is long-established: type 2 sufferers are two to three times more likely to be struck by this form of dementia than the general population,” explained The Guardian’s George Monbiot. “There are also associations between Alzheimer’s and obesity and Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome (a complex of diet-related pathologies).”
“Ever heard of type III diabetes? Tens of thousands of Canadians could be suffering from it,” Owen Dyer wrote for the National Review of Medicine in 2005. “They just know it by a different name: Alzheimer’s disease.”
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common types of dementia, with more than 115 million new cases expected to occur in the next 40 years. Most recently, a study published in late June again found a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, “which we refer to as Type III diabetes,” researchers wrote.
“Growing evidence supports the concept that Alzheimer’s Disease is fundamentally a metabolic syndrome that leads to abnormalities linked to brain insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) resistance,” read the study report. “In Alzheimer’s Disease, brain insulin and IGF resistance and deficiencies begin early and worsen with severity of the disease.”
Further research is required to established a more conclusive link.
“We cannot yet state unequivocally that poor diet is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease, though we can say that the evidence is strong and growing,” concludes Monbiot. “But if ever there was a case for the precautionary principle, here it is. It’s not as if we lose anything by eating less rubbish.”
Citation: Global Post. “Diet High in Sugar May Lead to Alzheimer’s.” Voxxi. Voxxi, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2012. http://www.voxxi.com/diet-sugar-lead-alzheimers/