Research by scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine suggests that diet has the potential to affect the gut microbiome in ways that could decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a small pilot study, the researchers identified several distinct gut microbiome signatures—the chemicals produced by bacteria—in participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but not in their counterparts with normal cognition. They found that the bacterial signatures correlated with higher levels of markers of Alzheimer's disease in the cerebrospinal fluid of the participants with MCI. Through cross-group dietary intervention, the study also showed that a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet produced changes in the gut microbiome and its metabolites that correlated with reduced levels of Alzheimer's markers in the members of both study groups.
“The relationship of the gut microbiome and diet to neurodegenerative diseases has recently received considerable attention, and this study suggests that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with specific changes in gut bacteria and that a type of ketogenic Mediterranean diet can affect the microbiome in ways that could impact the development of dementia,” said study coauthor Hariom Yadav.
The randomized, double-blind, single-site study involved 17 older adults, 11 with diagnosed MCI and six with normal cognition. The participants were randomly assigned to follow either the low-carbohydrate modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet or a low-fat, higher carbohydrate diet for six weeks. After a six-week “washout” period, each group switched to the other diet. Gut microbiome, fecal short-chain fatty acids, and markers of Alzheimer’s, including amyloid and tau proteins, in cerebrospinal fluid were measured before and after each dieting period.
Although the study lacks diversity due to the small subject group size, Yadav notes that the “findings provide important information that future interventional and clinical studies can be based on. Determining the specific role these gut microbiome signatures have in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease could lead to novel nutritional and therapeutic approaches that would be effective against the disease.”
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).
British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.
In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.
Cargill has announced a partnership with a local manufacturer in western India to launch its first chocolate manufacturing operation in Asia.
Cargill has invested €3.5 million in its site in Kalmthout, Belgium, to increase its capabilities for producing gourmet chocolate.
Danone North America and Brightseed, a biosciences company and developer of artificial intelligence (AI) that maps novel plant nutrients to human health, have announced a new partnership.
Motif FoodWorks, an ingredient company serving the plant-based food market, has announced an exclusive research collaboration and license option with the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Ferrero USA, part of the global confectionery company Ferrero Group, has announced it will open a new distribution center in McDonough, Ga., in early September.