Another “Disease of Modern Civilization” Linked to Diet

Colorado researchers theorize that fructose metabolism may be the driving force behind Alzheimer Disease pathology. Diets high in sugar and high glycemic index carbohydrates would exacerbate the problem. Salt may also play a role. Fructose is a simple sugar (a monosaccharide) typically found in fruit, honey, and some vegetables. Table sugar is sucrose, a combination of fructose with a glucose molecule. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is added to many processed foods as a sweetener. From the article linked above:

An ancient human foraging instinct, fueled by fructose production in the brain, may hold clues to the development and possible treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study, published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, offers a new way of looking at a fatal disease characterized by abnormal accumulations of proteins in the brain that slowly erode memory and cognition.

“We make the case that Alzheimer’s disease is driven by diet,” said the study’s lead author Richard Johnson, MD, professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine specializing in renal disease and hypertension. The study co-authors include Maria Nagel, MD, research professor of neurology at the CU School of Medicine.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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