Researchers Report that a Methionine-Rich Diet Increases the Risk of Memory Loss

Researchers Report that a Methionine-Rich Diet Increases the Risk of Memory Loss
shutterstock_236425231Dr. Anuradha Kalani from the University of Louisville in Kentucky and colleagues recently presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Boston the finding that a diet rich in methionine can increase the risk of memory loss. Methionine is an essential amino acid important for several cellular functions that can be found in food products like dairy, eggs, meat and fish (halibut, cod and tuna). Previous studies have shown that diet can influence memory loss and the risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown that excess methylation, a mechanism that controls gene expression by the addition of methyl groups, can result in memory loss by inhibiting genes involved in cognitive function. The methyl groups used in the methylation process ultimately derive from methionine, suggesting that a methionine-rich diet might therefore increase methylation events. In this study, researchers fed mice with a diet rich in methionine and low in folate (vitamin B9), vitamins B6 and B12 – vitamins important for the maintenance of the nervous system – for a period of six weeks to assess the diet’s impact on brain function and memory. Mice had their memory function monitored every week by a test that evaluated their response to a fear stimulant. Researchers found that after four weeks, mice fed with a methionine-rich diet s
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