Changes in Japan’s diet linked to Alzheimer increase

7 years ago by in Japan

The changes in Japan’s dietary habits are highly related to the dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with the same trend being observed in other developed countries and their changes in national diets, according to a study published electronically in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The number of Alzheimer cases at Japanese patients aged 65 or more rose from 1 percent in 1985 to 7 percent in 2008.

Some of the risk factors for AD: alcohol consumption, elevated cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, dietary fat, obesity, and smoking are associated with increased risk while physical fitness is associated with reduced risk, the international press reports.

Scientists analyzed the dietary changes in Japan in order to find out the cause of the dramatic rise in Alzheimer prevalence. Data for dietary supply were obtained from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The largest changes between 1961 and 1985 included alcohol (from 29.6 kg/person/yr to 57.4 kg/person/yr), animal fat (from 5 kg/person/yr to 35 kg/person/yr), meat (from 7.6 kg/person/yr to 33.7 kg/person/yr), energy from animal products (from 249 kcal/person/d to 580 kcal/person/d), and rice (from 113 kg/person/yr to 69 kg/person/yr).

Correlation coefficients of about 90 percent were found, with maximum values for alcohol, animal product energy, lung cancer, meat, and rice generally occurring with a lag of 15 to 25 years.

Animal products consumption can lead to an increased risk of AD, as, cholesterol, iron and arachidonic acid from meat increase oxidative stress, respectively inflammation in the brain, scientists discovered.

The number of AD cases is strongly connected to diet, especially in midlife. AD rates will continue to grow unless the consumption of animal products will be reduced, the study said.