By: Yassmine ElSayed
CAIRO, Nov. 24 (SEE) – In recent years, low-carb & high-protein diets have taken over health and wellness discussions. A recent study, however, concluded that high-carb and low-protein diets might be far more beneficial to brain health than previously believed.
The study conducted by the University of Sydney found that there are substantial improvements to overall health and brain health in mice that were fed low protein / high carbohydrate diets.
The findings, which is published in the journal Cell Reports, contributed to a growing debate as to the role food plays in brain health — particularly neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia.
Lead author and Ph.D. candidate Devin Wahl stated that the research showed for the first time how unrestricted low-protein, high-carb diets have protective benefits to the brain. The Sydney team likened it to the benefits of calorie restriction which is suggested to improve overall brain health and longevity.
However, there’s one key point of difference between humans applying this research to their lives and the study itself. Calorie restriction isn’t sustainable in humans. “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 Wahl.
“However, the majority of people have a hard time restricting calories, especially in Western societies where food is so freely available.”
While it’s not sustainable in humans, replicating the results between calorie restriction and high-carb eating was encouraging to the researchers. “It shows a lot of promise that we have been able to replicate the same kind of gene changes in the part of the brain responsible for memory that we also see when we severely restrict calories,” said Wahl.