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Low-Protein Diets Might Help With Healthy Brain Aging, Study Says

Low-Protein Diets Might Help with Healthy Brain Aging, Study Says Pasta with meat, tomato sauce and vegetables on white background

Have you been trying out new diets to figure out what's the best option for you? Well, there's a new option on the market. Low-protein diets, combined with high-carbohydrate meals can help you live longer.

The findings come from a new mice study from the University of Sydney, recently published in Cell Reports. The study shows improvements in the overall health of your body and your brain. But the interesting thing is that this type of diet improved the learning abilities and the memory of mice.

"There are currently no effective pharmaceutical treatments for dementia—we can slow these diseases, but we can't stop them—so it's exciting that we are starting to identify diets that are impacting how the brain ages," said lead author and Ph.D. candidate Devin Wahl.

Take these results with a grain of salt, though, because this is one study for now, and there is no research on humans to support it so far. But the study claims to prove that unrestricted low-protein diets combined with a high-carbohydrate intake can protect the brain as well as calorie restriction. But here is the kicker: calorie restriction is known for its longevity benefits, but it's not really sustainable in humans.

Low-Protein Diets Might Help with Healthy Brain Aging, Study Says

Mice became smarter after low-protein diets with high carb intake.

"We have close to 100 years of quality research extolling the benefits of calorie restriction as the most powerful diet to improve brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease in rodents," said Mr. Wahl.

Low-protein diets, what are they about?

Restricting calories is still pretty controversial, and also hard to follow through on, especially in countries where there is a huge food availability.

But what about low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets, where did they come from? The truth is that they're not a new thing at all. According to senior author Professor David Le Couteur, this type of diet is quite popular in parts of the Mediterranean and among people in Okinawa, Japan.

So what did the mice eat? They were fed complex carbs derived from starch. They also ate casein protein, the type that's found in cheese and milk. Then their improvements were monitored through spatial awareness and memory tests.

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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