Researchers compared a low-fat diet with a diet consisting of healthy fats/protein and low carbohydrates—the modified Mediterranean ketogenetic diet—and found that the modified diet showed robust changes in a biological pathway that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The findings were published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We hope that better understanding this complex relationship between diet, cognitive status and gut health will lead to new interventions to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease,” said Suzanne Craft, Ph.D.
Researchers found that participants with mild cognitive impairment on the modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet had lower levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and of GABA-producing microbes. Participants on this diet also had higher levels of GABA-regulating bacteria. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and GABA dysfunction is associated with neuropsychiatric conditions including Alzheimer’s disease.
“These findings provide crucial insight into how diet may affect the microbiome and improve brain health,” Craft said. “Larger studies are needed to assess the role diet interventions play in patients with cognitive impairment.”
Main image of the Mediterranean is a stock photo from DepositPhotos.com