Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

Diet of Fast Food and Candy May Cause Alzheimer's 224

Posted by kdawson
from the you-are-what-you-eat dept.
lurking_giant sends along a Reuters report on research out of Sweden indicating that a diet rich in fat, sugar, and cholesterol could increase the risk of Alzheimer's, at least in mice. "'On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the Alzheimer brain,' [said] Susanne Akterin, a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center... 'We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors... can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer's.' ... These mice showed chemical changes in their brains, indicating an abnormal build-up of the protein tau as well as signs that cholesterol in food reduced levels of another protein called Arc involved in memory storage."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Diet of Fast Food and Candy May Cause Alzheimer's

Comments Filter:
  • by macraig (621737) <[mark.a.craig] [at] [gmail.com]> on Sunday November 30, 2008 @09:20AM (#25932591)

    That's an ancient cliche but very relevant. Eating too much rock dust would cause cancer. So too would anything else consumed in a quantity that creates an imbalance.

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Informative)

    by wisty (1335733) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @09:33AM (#25932663)

    Not a great idea. A lot of US agriculture industries have a lot of "government relations" clout. See Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac? [pcrm.org]. Then we can talk about McDonalds, KFC, and Coca Cola.

  • This just in! (Score:5, Informative)

    by forgoil (104808) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @09:43AM (#25932727) Homepage

    Living will kill you.

  • by PRMan (959735) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @10:26AM (#25932983)

    Before anybody runs to diet products because they shouldn't have sugar: There's plenty of anecdotal evidence... [google.com]

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @10:29AM (#25933007) Journal

    It is somewhat naive to claim that those things are "really, really, really bad for you", though. While it is clear that these can have significant negative side effects on weight in some portion of the population if consumed in excess, the fact that this does not occur across the population universally, however, means that one could argue that the consumption of these foods by people who do not exhibit extreme weight gain from them might actually be helpful, and that not consuming energy-rich foods may be starving those people's cells. Everyone's body has different nutritional needs in terms of calories, etc., and painting with too broad a brush does more harm than good when it comes to understanding the issues involved.

    For example, by some people's standards, caffeine is really, really bad for you. The same goes for alcohol. However, we now know that both of these substances decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease. Caffeine even decreases the risk of Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. Following conventional wisdom and common sense to answer nutritional or medical questions frequently results in getting entirely the wrong answer.

  • Bad scientist! (Score:3, Informative)

    by durrr (1316311) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @10:51AM (#25933145)
    The study is quite flawed, she might as well feed them a diet "rich in rat poison" and conclude that it's quite fatal for the critters.

    There are more studies needed, focusing on the separate compounds; is a diet rich in sugar bad? Is the sugar rich diet bad if the net caloric intake is low? Is the sugar rich diets bad when combined with nutritional supplements that cover the nutritional needs that sugar doesn't provide? Is a combination diet of sugar and fat worse or better than the single sugar or single fat ones? Is HDL cholesterol a equal factor as LDL cholesterol? In what manners do the mice metabolism change in the diets? Could these changes perhaps be blocked by medication, and if yes, will it prevent alzheimers?

    The study tells us what we already know, a diet of junk food is bad for you. However, most likely a diet of junk food will kill you trough some other pathway before you develop alzheimers.
  • by ravrazor (69324) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @11:35AM (#25933381)

    Just to stop anybody on slashdot from switching from (or staying with) butter because this comment has been moderated "interesting"... margarine IS better...as long as you pick a decent one that's not 59 cents per 1 kg tub.
    From the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/butter-vs-margarine/AN00835 [mayoclinic.com]
    The American Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=532 [americanheart.org]

    And if you're looking for more info, here's how a search engine works:
    http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=butter+margarine [letmegoogl...foryou.com]

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Sunday November 30, 2008 @05:48PM (#25936683)

    How is healthy food more expensive than bad food?
    Bad food is always processed food. Processing costs money. Always.

    The only reasons you pay more, are that most products that are marketed as healthy actually aren't, and those that are healthy are not marketed,
    and that healthy stuff is produced in smaller quantities and sold by smaller shops. Those companies can't afford dump prices like that.

    There is an easy rule for healthy food: Healthy = unprocessed.
    That's mostly it. And I mean really unprocessed. Like, raw plants, fruits, meats. The best conservation method for them is to (shock-)freeze them.
    A bit worse, but mostly acceptable are fermented foods. Like pickles, salami, (real!) cheese/yogurt, (real!) beer, and so on. (Pay attention to processed fakes, like, the most you can buy in a supermarket.)
    Then come cooked foods. Here the heat has destroyed and denaturalized much. But if it wasn't too hot and/or too long, much of it is still OK. For example (real) whole-grain bread (NOT pure starch like "Wonderbread") never reaches the temperature to destroy the b-vitamins at the inside, because it "sweats" and thereby cools itself in the oven.

    Everything that's processed more should be avoided. Conserves, preparations and so on. Cake, cookies and so on mostly are conserves, because white flour is a (very unhealthy) conserve. Sugars are preparations (in the chemical sense) and are the worst of all.
    Fat is completely OK. As long as it's not saturated. You can recognize non-saturated fats/oils, because they have a higher liquidity. (This is why even the most natural margarine is often even worse than butter. They chemically saturate it, and then use more chemistry to add non-saturated fat to it. This process creates very unhealthy trans-fats.)
    The only problem with fat is the high energy density. So combine it with something with low energy density if your body does not need such a high energy level. (So if you're a hard working Eskimo, you can eat all the fat you want. ;)

    The trick with the carbohydrates is: The longer, the better. The easiest way is to use the glycemic load [wikipedia.org], because that value goes mostly parallel to the length of the molecules in the food. There are tables for this value [wikipedia.org].
    Glucose, sugar, starch and non-whole cereals are the worst. The sugar inside eats up all the b-vitamins and gives the body none. But they are essential for a working brain.
    And then they flood the body with too much energy for a too short time to be of use, and go straight to your fat pads. So it's the sugar that makes you fat and stupid.
    Don't let them fool you by telling you that the body converts any carbohydrates to sugar and sugar is the energy molecule of the body. They are right, but what they don't tell you is all the stuff above. Especially the part that it's too much for a too short time and about the missing b-vitamins wreaking havoc in your system.

    For the rest: The more variations the better. That way you get all the vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and even the non-researched/unknown stuff. (Yes, we still don't know everything, even if some people behave as if.)

    You see. It's quite easy to eat healthy and cheap and tasty food. Just get your ass up and prepare it yourself from non-processed stuff.

    Oh, and to all my fellow Slashdotters: If you're eating too much and move not enough, 99% of the time, this is a pure psychological problem. You replace food for sex, love or something different. Or you simply do is because you're used to it. You don't need a diet or sport. You need a therapy and then some time with something that can replace your replacement. And then a change in diet, some sport and a girlfriend. :)

    P.S.: I know all this because I'm working on it right now... ;)

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Repton (60818) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @08:36PM (#25938139) Homepage

    You wouldn't be able to afford it, because you'd eat at a reasonably nice restaurant. What if you just hit the chippie?

    For poor people, who might not have enough money to pay rent, power, telephone, and food, but who still need energy to live and work, the equation might not be the same. A guy in England looked at the price of food per calorie. 100 calories worth of broccoli? 51p. 100 calories worth of chips? 2p. The equation was similar for other foods: cheap, fatty sausages give you more energy for your pound than good quality ones. I couldn't find the original article I read (a few months ago), but there's some quotes and links here: http://povertyblog.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/the-habitual-food-of-the-working-man-varies-according-to-his-wages/ [wordpress.com] . Another website I read claimed that in the Seattle area, the price of junk food had gone down slightly over the same period that the price of healthy food had increased by 15% or so.

    Sure, it would be nice to buy vegetables (if the price of power goes down), or even grow your own food (if you're lucky enough to have a garden), but it may not be an option for everyone.

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2008 @11:37PM (#25939557)

    You wouldn't be able to afford it, because you'd eat at a reasonably nice restaurant. What if you just hit the chippie?

    For poor people, who might not have enough money to pay rent, power, telephone, and food, but who still need energy to live and work, the equation might not be the same. A guy in England looked at the price of food per calorie. 100 calories worth of broccoli? 51p. 100 calories worth of chips? 2p. The equation was similar for other foods: cheap, fatty sausages give you more energy for your pound than good quality ones. I couldn't find the original article I read (a few months ago), but there's some quotes and links here: http://povertyblog.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/the-habitual-food-of-the-working-man-varies-according-to-his-wages/ [wordpress.com] . Another website I read claimed that in the Seattle area, the price of junk food had gone down slightly over the same period that the price of healthy food had increased by 15% or so.

    Sure, it would be nice to buy vegetables (if the price of power goes down), or even grow your own food (if you're lucky enough to have a garden), but it may not be an option for everyone.

    This is the typical junk analysis that makes for good stories but bad learning. You don't buy veggies for energy. You buy veggies for a balanced diet and to fill your mineral and vitamin requirements. For energy you buy various protein and grains. Energy is a measure of food but not the only one and comparing all foods based on energy content is misleading and as for energy that's why we have cheap staples based on the locally grown starches of a given region. You're not supposed to get all your energy from broccoli so analyzing cost based on energy is intellectually dishonest.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

Working...