Gorging on junk food may not just make you fat but it could also give you dementia, a new study has claimed.
Bad diets are already linked to dementia, through high blood pressure and cholesterol interrupting blood supply to the brain, but the latest theory points to high levels of fatty and sugary food damaging the brain by interrupting its supply of insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, unhealthy foods lead to cells in the body becoming resistant to the insulin they need to convert sugar into energy, the Daily Mail reported.
According to New Scientist magazine, something similar may be happening in Alzheimer’s, with a bad diet preventing brain cells from responding properly to insulin.
Insulin is needed to regulate brain chemicals key to memory and learning, to make and strengthen connections between brain cells and to maintain the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood and oxygen.
In tests, rats given a chemical that stopped their brains from being able to use insulin developed Alzheimer’s symptoms.
“They were demented. They couldn’t learn or remember,” the Daily mail quoted Suzanne de la Monte, of Brown University in the U.S., as saying.
Triggering diabetes created Alzheimer’s-like changes in the brains of rabbits, including the development of the sticky beta amyloid plaques that clog up the brains of human patients.