Could Intermittent Fasting Prevent Dementia?

Diets that mimic fasting appear to the reduce the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a groundbreaking new study using mice. Researchers from USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology say time-restricted eating lowered levels of two key hallmarks of the disease — amyloid beta and hyperphosphorylated tau protein. These substances build up and tangle in the brain, causing disruptions in cognitive function that lead to dementia. The mice on this fasting diet — which were genetically-engineered to develop Alzheimer’s — also had less brain inflammation and performed better on cognitive tests than other mice fed a normal diet.

The fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) researchers examined was high in unsaturated fats and low in overall calories, protein, and carbohydrates. The diet mimics the impact of sticking to a water-only fast while still providing dieters with their necessary nutrients. Previous studies have found that fasting diets display a connection to several health benefits, including stem cell regeneration, lessening the side-effects of chemotherapy, and lowering the risk for developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other age-related diseases.

Excerpted from Study Finds

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