High Antioxidant, Low-Fat Diet May Protect Against Alzheimer’s

High Antioxidant, Low-Fat Diet May Protect Against Alzheimer’s

Business & News Editors

STOCKHOLM, Sweden–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 22, 2002

Individuals who eat primarily lean meats such as fish and poultry and abundant fruits and vegetables during midlife may experience a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who consume larger amounts of red or processed meats and significant amounts of fats and sugars, say researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Grace Petot and her colleagues collected data regarding what foods people consumed and how often during three different stages of adulthood. Participants — or, for individuals with Alzheimer’s, a surrogate respondent — were asked to recall, to the best of their knowledge, how often they commonly consumed various foods when they were 20-39 years old, 40-59 years old and age 60 up to approximately five years before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. When the researchers analyzed data for the 40-59 age period for 96 people with Alzheimer’s and 214 unaffected individuals, two distinct dietary patterns emerged for consumption of 29 food groups.

“One pattern, which we called the high-fat, low antioxidant pattern, consists of foods such as red meats, processed meats, eggs, fried chicken, high-fat dairy products, high energy drinks (drinks with sugar), french fries, refined grains, margarine, snacks, nuts, sweets and desserts,” said Petot. “The second pattern — high antioxidant, low-fat — included foods such as yellow and green vegetables, fish and seafood, fruits, homemade and readymade soups, whole grains, tomatoes and other vegetables.”

The researchers then calculated an odds ratio for Alzheimer’s disease with respect to these diet patterns. The high antioxidant, low-fat diet is associated with a reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s — an association that held up even in individuals who carry apolipoprotein E-epsilon 4 (ApoE-(4). ApoE-(4, one of three common forms of a gene that codes production of a protein that transports cholesterol, is associated with an increased risk — although not a certainty — of developing Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting the 8th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, July 20-25, 2002, in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference is the largest gathering of Alzheimer researchers in history. As many as 4,000 scientists from around the world will present and discuss the findings of nearly 2,000 studies on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the premier source of information and support for the millions of Americans with Alzheimer’s. The largest private funder of Alzheimer research in the United States, the Association has committed nearly $138 million toward research into the disease.

Abstract No. 1124


Dietary patterns during mid-adult life and risk for Alzheimer’s



Tuesday, July 23

12:30 – 2:45 p.m.


Grace J. Petot, Sara M. Debanne, Fatoumata Traore, Thomas Fritsch,

Alan J. Lerner, Kathleen A. Smyth, Robert P. Friedland

Editor’s Note: News releases of selected research presented at the 8th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders are available on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Web site, at www.alz.org/internationalconference/newsroom.htm. Scientific abstracts are accessible on the Web at http://www.alz.org/internationalconference/programs.htm, then click on Program Navigator link.

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