For years, doctors have been advising Americans not to consume trans fats. But do you really stay away from them?
What if trans fats cause the onset of Alzheimer’s disease? That question led to an investigation at Portland’s Oregon Health and Science University, led by Dr. Gene Bowman.
“We’re interested in things that might have a role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. “But we’re also looking for things that actually might be causing the disease.”
Big Brains vs. Small Brains
Dr. Bowman and his colleagues studied 104 seniors with an average age of 87 years. They submitted blood samples that revealed what nutrients were in their bodies. They also took thinking and memory tests. And they had MRI brain scans.
Scientists discovered those with higher levels of trans fats in their blood had smaller brains.
A person’s brain size can change with aging. Brain shrinkage is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. A larger brain is considered to be healthier.
“We know that in Alzheimer’s disease that the brain shrinks at an accelerated pace as the disease and pathology spreads to certain parts of the brain,” Dr. Bowman explained.
“But if you have a larger brain and more brain tissue, you might have a reserve to handle that pathology better,” he added.
In addition to smaller brains, people who ate more trans fats also scored lower on thinking and memory tests.
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SOURCE: CBN News