Low-protein diet slows Alzheimer’s in mice
A new study suggests that a low-protein diet might slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. The research, published in the journal Aging Cell, found that mice that were fed a low-protein diet, along with amino acids, performed better in a maze designed to test the mouse’s memory than mice that were fed a normal diet. The mice on the low-protein diet also had fewer ‘tau’ proteins on their brains. This is a protein that often builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and is thought to hasten their cognitive decline.
So far, the low-protein diets have slowed Alzheimer’s symptoms only in mice and extensive clinical trials would be needed to test the treatment in humans.
But the study’s author, Valter Longo, a professor at the University of Southern California, said that “a doctor could read this study today and, if his or her patient did not have any other viable options, could consider introducing the protein restriction in cycles…understanding that effective interventions in mice may not translate into effective human therapies."