Diet Directly Affects Gut Bacteria and May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Progression, Pilot Study Suggests

Diet Directly Affects Gut Bacteria and May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Progression, Pilot Study Suggests
A modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet can regulate bacteria in the gut that may contribute to the development and progression of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, results from a pilot study suggest. Those findings come from a small study by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine, which was published in The Lancet journal EBioMedicine. “The relationship of the gut microbiome and diet to neurodegenerative diseases has recently received considerable attention,” Hariom Yadav, PhD, said in a press release. Yadav is an assistant professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “Our findings provide important information that future interventional and clinical studies can be based on.” The study was titled “Modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet modulates gut microbiome and short-chain fatty acids in association with Alzheimer's disease markers in subjects with mild cognitive impairment.” Alzheimer’s is characterized by the formation of plaques, or clumps, of a toxic version of amyloid-beta molecules within nerve cells. This leads to the activation of immune cells resident in the brain, known as microglia, which can help remove these amyloid plaques. However, if overactivated, microglia can trigger neuroinflammation (inflammation of the central nervous system. Several factors can influence neuroinflammation, including the bacteria that reside in the intestines, which are collectively named the gut microbiome. Prior studies have found that people with cognitive impairment have altered gut microbiota. This is associated with an increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory molecules in the blood and progression of neuroinflammation. Although it is not fully understood how gut microbiome may affect  
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