The western diet is laced in bad cholesterol, fats and sugar. This might influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people who religiously follow the western diet as well as those who carry a gene associated to the neurodegenerative disease. A recent study has shed light on the fact. ApoE4 and ApoE3 are two variants of a gene that codes for a protein, apolipoprotein E, which binds fats and cholesterol. ApoE4 variant is responsible for increased inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease whereas ApoE3 is not increasing the risk of disease.
Not all carriers of ApoE4 gene develop this neurodegenerative disorder, the researchers added further. The inference has been laid that when ApoE4-carrying rodents were fed a western diet for 12 weeks; they showed increased accumulation of beta-amyloid protein plaques- the markers for inflammation, in their brains. They also exhibited a larger number of glial cels, the brain cells which are responsible for immunity resonse.
"Part of what the results are saying is that risk doesn't affect everybody the same, and that's true for most risk factors," said lead author Christian Pike, Professor at the University of Southern California - Davis.
"Your genes have a big role in what happens to you, but so does your environment and your modifiable lifestyle factors. How much you exercise becomes important and what you eat becomes important," Pike added.
For the study, the team placed a group of mice with ApoE4 on a control diet that was 10 per cent fat and seven per cent sucrose, while another group of mice with ApoE4 ate a Western diet that was of 45 per cent fat and 17 per cent sucrose for 12 weeks. A similar test was run on mice with ApoE3.
On the unhealthy diet, both the mice with ApoE4 and those with ApoE3 gained weight and became pre-diabetic. But most significantly, those with ApoE4 on the unhealthy diet quickly developed the signature plaques that obstruct cognition and memory. Lifestyle changes could play a major role in reducing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease in individuals with this genetic predisposition, the researchers suggested.
(With IANS Inputs)