People whose diet is dominated by sugar and not enough protein needs are least likely to suffer from senile dementia and problems with memory sharpness in the declining years of life. To such conclusion scientists, who published an article in the journal Cell Reports.
“Drugs dementia does not yet exist – we can slow down, but not stop it. Therefore, the opening of the diet, can improve brain function in old age, has become a very important and joyful event,” said Val Devin (Devin Wahl) from the University of Sydney (Australia).
Flour of choice
Today most scientists believe that diet and certain foods have a strong influence not only on the weight of the person, but also on the health of the brain, blood vessels, heart and other key organs of the body.
For example, recently scientists have shown that drinking large quantities of olive oil and Mediterranean food significantly lowers the chances of dying from a stroke or heart attack, and excessive amount of salt in food, on the contrary, worsens the health of the heart and blood vessels.
While biologists have not come to a consensus about what types of nutrients – proteins, fats or carbohydrates most influence the health of the body and brain, and how they change their work. Hundreds of experiments conducted in recent years have led to contradictory results.
For example, there are hints that a diet rich in supposedly harmful fats and proteins, does not degrade, and enhances health and prolongs his life. On the other hand, virtually all scientists agree that the typical “Western” food, the worst impact on health and most of all contributes to atherosclerosis, cancer and other serious illnesses.
Val and his colleagues discovered one of the unexpected advantages of another “harmful” diet containing a lot of carbohydrates, observing the lives of hundreds of older mice fed different types of food. Some of them, as the researchers note, sat on a special diet, number of calories which was 20% less than normal.
Food for thought
Scientists were interested in how the transition to a new type of food affect the genes that control the metabolism of cells, and how these changes affected the functioning of the brain of rodents and their intellectual abilities. To do this, scientists run mice in a maze from which there were many exits marked with different scents, colors and other marks, and watched how quickly they found a way out of it.
As a rule, young rodents is characterized by the position of the “right” of passage on the first or second day of the experiment, and subsequently always moving unerringly towards him. With the development of age-related problems with memory and vision, they master this skill only on the fourth day of class.
It turned out that the diet actually affects the success in this test, and best of all showed themselves not only rodents treated with a small number of calories, but, paradoxically, mice fed an almost pure carbohydrates.
They were memorizing the maze than the fourth, and on the third day of the experiment, and overall faster reaches to him than the aged animals on normal diet. These changes in their behavior, in turn, was related to the fact that their hippocampus, the memory center, hardly diminished in volume and did not reduce the level of activity compared to youth.
“The most effective diet from our list contained only 8% protein and 80% carbohydrates. This is very similar to what foods consumed the inhabitants of the island of Okinawa, one of the main “zones of longevity” on the Ground. Interestingly, in their diet includes a large amount of sweet potatoes contain a lot of starch, which we fed our mice,” concludes David Le Couture (David Le Couteur), a colleague Valya.