Research on mice links fast food to Alzheimer’s

Should e be blaming sugar or fat?

LONDON, Nov. 28, 2008 (Reuters) — Mice fed junk food for nine months showed signs of developing the abnormal brain tangles strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a Swedish researcher said on Friday.

The findings, which come from a series of published papers by a researcher at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, show how a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol could increase the risk of the most common type of dementia.

“On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the Alzheimer brain,” Susanne Akterin, a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, who led the study, said in a statement.

4 Responses to “Research on mice links fast food to Alzheimer’s”

  1. jaredcormier Says:

    I’m always so skeptical about research such as this, they still don’t have a mechanism by which it may act in humans, and the article doesn’t explain how the mice were engineered… I’ll have to write about the dangers of going beyond the conclusions one can draw from an experiment. I suppose I’ll have to find this paper (and probably have a friend translate).

  2. freidenker85 Says:

    I don’t see the “how” here, I see a correlation. Admittedly, if there is a correlation between fast food and Alzheimer’s, it’s definitely one more reason to be cautious with what you eat, but without describing a mechanism (and I’m not sure I can understand the article enough to decipher it myself), it’s really not that informative. What components of fast food are necessary exacerbating the risk for Alzheimer’s? Is there a way we can “tweak the junk” so it will reduce the risk? All it says is “don’t eat fast food, it’ll screw you over”. I can ‘t help but finding that a bit suspect.

  3. monado Says:

    After the correlation is found, researchers can start to hypothesize a mechanism and devise experiments to test it. Finding the correlation is just the first step in a lot of work. Check back in ten years to see if they’ve got something. Meanwhile, many lines of research suggest that eating a varied diet of unprocessed foods and exercising vigorously every day is good for your health.

  4. freidenker85 Says:

    I’m sure it is. I just think that hyping stuff like this is more than common, and this is why science-minded people should take new research with a grain of salt. It’s more than possible that there’s something in this study, but I would advise caution before there’s more consensus on the matter.


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