Protein diets may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say
Experts say that protein-rich foods may help protect against the degenerative disease that afflicts many of the nation’s oldest Americans.
Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Vanderbilt University found that eating a diet rich in protein — particularly whey protein — could protect against Alzheimer’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disease.
While there are no specific studies to show a specific protein source that may help combat Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, Dr. Anthony Atala, a research professor in the Department of Neurology at UA, said that whey proteins are considered a good source of protein because of the amount of protein in it.
“If you can get enough whey, that’s a great source of amino acids,” Atala said.
“It’s a good protein source for people who are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s.”
The researchers compared whey to protein-poor foods, such as milk, cheese, eggs, and rice.
They found that wheys provide more protein and less carbohydrates than protein-based foods, and that wheies are also less likely to contain a variety of harmful bacteria.
“There’s a lot of controversy about the health benefits of protein and it’s very important that we focus on those health benefits,” Atalas said.
Atala added that wheying can also provide an alternative to eating dairy products, such in case you want to avoid the health concerns associated with eating dairy.
The research was published online in the journal Neurosciences.
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