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Brain Health: Amino acids from protein may reduce risk of dementia in consumers ─Study

Different Meat Protein Sources Photo: Carlosgaw

*Experts opine following a low-protein diet could be worse for consumers’ brain health

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

A considerable number of previous studies have highlighted the ways that consumers’ diets can impact their dementia risk.

Accordingly, researchers from the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology have found that intake of a combination of amino acids may help to lower the risk of dementia.

Researcher Dr. Makoto Higuchi said: “In older individuals, low protein diets are linked to poor maintenance of brain function.

“Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, we wanted to understand whether supplementation with essential amino acids can protect the brains of older people from dementia, and if yes, what mechanisms would contribute to this protective effect.”

Regarding how nutrients can support brain function for the study, the experts conducted several trials of an experiment on mice to better understand how protein impacts long-term brain function, how essential amino acids can prevent cognitive decline, and the protective benefits of amino acids on brain health.

They noted that the first study examined the impact that protein has on brain health.

The researchers learned that when mice followed low-protein diets, they had poorer neural connectivity and experienced greater brain degeneration; both of these may increase the risk for dementia long-term.

The next experiment put seven essential amino acids ─ which the researchers refer to as Amino LP7 ─ to the test.

Much in the same way that low-protein diets increased the risk of brain degeneration, the study showed that Amino LP7 worked to reduce degeneration and helped to improve the strength of the brain’s neurons.

A build-up of a compound called tau is one of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said.

While Amino LP7 didn’t completely eliminate tau, overall brain function remained strong.

The final trial explored how Amino LP7 works to protect the brain from cognitive decline. The researchers learned that the amino acid combination not only improves overall brain function, but it also reduces a key inflammatory marker ─kynurenine.

Without this compound, neurons in the brain have a better chance of staying healthy and strong; over time, this helps promote brain health.

Researchers Dr. Hideaki Sato and Dr. Yuhei Takado also stated: “These results suggest that essential amino acids can help maintain balance in the brain and prevent brain deterioration.

“Our study is the first to report that specific amino acids can hinder the development of dementia.

“Although our study was performed in mice, it brings hope that amino acid intake could also modify the development of dementia in humans, including Alzheimer’s disease.”

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