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A number of previous studies suggest that some dietary patterns, specifically a high-fat diet, increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Consequently, scientists are exploring interventions that target the metabolic dysfunctions resulting from diets high in fat.

Researchers from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan) have previously shown that a high-fat diet worsens cognitive function, in a lab animal model of Alzheimer’s disease; further, the team observed that exercise ameliorated high-fat diet induced memory impairment and beta-amyloid formation, a defining characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, Ayae Kinoshita and colleagues expanded on this work, comparing the effects of 1) diet control, 2) voluntary exercise and, 3) diet control plus exercise, in their Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. The results showed that exercise was more beneficial than diet control in reducing beta-amyloid formation, as well as restoring memory loss induced by a high-fat diet. Attributing the positive effects of exercise to increased degradation of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, the study authors urge that: “Exercise has the highest priority in the prevention of [Alzheimer’s disease”].


  1. Maesako, Kengo Uemura, Masakazu Kubota, Akira Kuzuya, Kazuki Sasaki, Ayae Kinoshita, et al. “Exercise is more effective than diet control in preventing high fat diet-induced [beta]-amyloid deposition and memory deficit in amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice.” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 23024–33, June 29, 2012.