Highly processed foods increase risk of Alzheimer’s

Highly processed foods increase risk of Alzheimer’s
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Von: Laura Wittstruck

Excessive consumption of finished products not only makes you fat – an American study now shows that they can also be a trigger for Alzheimer’s.

Whether it’s a ready-made pizza after work or a bag of chips on the couch – unhealthy things often taste best. Most people, on the other hand, often give little thought to the possible consequences. Obesity and diabetes are just some of the consequences of overconsumption of processed foods. A study by the Ohio State University has now discovered another effect – too much fast food and the like is said to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

What Makes Processed Food So Harmful?

The study, which was published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, focused on various highly processed foods. These are products that have been extensively processed and modified in industrial processes – for example by being heated or frozen. In addition, the food often contains a lot of sugar and white flour. Carbohydrates and fiber? none. So they don’t really fill you up and instead provide you with unnecessary calories. Nutrients such as vitamins are also scarce. However, the finished products still taste good – thanks to additives such as flavor enhancers and a tempting mixture of sugar and fat. The processed foods from the study included frozen pizza, cold cuts and chips.

Alzheimer’s and finished products: American study with rats shows connection

The researchers at the university used rats of different ages to investigate how processed foods affect the brain, especially in older people. To do this, they divided them into three groups.

  • Group 1 received normal food.
  • Group 2 ate highly processed foods.
  • Group 3 was given highly processed food fortified with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
A frozen pizza is quick to make and tastes good, but it can be dangerous to your health. © hecke/Panthermedia/Imago

After 28 days, the researchers drew a conclusion. It turned out that older rats that were fed heavily processed foods had significantly increased inflammation levels. And: In subsequent behavioral experiments, they were more forgetful. In addition, they no longer reacted appropriately anxiously to indications of possible dangers. Rats from the other groups did not have these problems. The older rats from group 3 also showed no comparable symptoms.

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Processed foods make you forgetful

The conclusions the study authors draw from their findings: Those who eat a lot of processed foods could increase their risk of sudden memory loss. As a consequence, this can lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer to lead. But what role do omega-3 fatty acids play? Finally, the addition significantly weakened the effects on the rats. In fact, the healthy fatty acids can prevent memory loss and increased inflammation levels, reports the Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

However, the rats from groups 2 and 3 showed a dangerous similarity: All animals that consumed highly processed food gained significant weight – especially the older ones. Highly processed foods remain unhealthy, even with the addition of DHA.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.


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