Alzheimer’s Disease May Advance More Slowly on a Low-carb Diet, According to Research

While there is a lot of attention on ketogenic diets that call for consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, not everyone can maintain them.

But according to recent study, you don’t need to be that rigid to get results.

One Santa Monica lady made some adjustments that seemed to benefit her brain thanks to a recent study.

“I have always had a poor memory,” study participant Carol Marlowe said.

The 75-year-old claimed that she struggled with schoolwork even as a young adult.

“I struggled in college to really perform properly,” she stated.

However, Marlowe learned she had a familial predisposition to Alzheimer’s when her mother was given the diagnosis. Her brain has amyloid plaque, according to a scan. Physicians could only advise with despair.

“Get your affairs in order. You know, there was nothing they could really do,” Marlowe said.

That is, until she met researchers who informed her of this at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

“Keep your blood sugar under control,” Marlowe recalled.

“Things that manage your cardiovascular health and your diabetic risk in general are thought now to really help manage your brain health,” said neuroscientist Jennifer Bramen, with Providence Saint John’s Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

She investigated the effects of a low-carb diet on individuals with blood indicators for Alzheimer’s disease alongside her colleagues. A modest study revealed that consuming a whole foods diet with roughly 130 grams of carbohydrates per day may benefit the brain.

“Their brains were in better health than if they ate fewer carbohydrates,” she said.

As the typical American consumes roughly 300 grams of carbohydrates each day, Bramen advised starting with halving that amount and then adding balance.

“You wanna have some fat, have some fiber, have some protein, and a lot of that is just to slow digestion,” she said.

Delaying digestion helps avoid blood sugar surges, which over time is healthy for your brain. Marlowe has been eating only vegetables for the past seven years, along with oatmeal, nutritious grains, salads, lean meats, yogurt, almonds, berries, and high-fiber greens.

“I have seen slight improvement, but I haven’t gotten worse,” Marlowe said.

“What’s startling is how well she has managed to maintain that, and that is a real achievement,” Bramen said.

Marlow stated that taking charge of her mental health has reduced her anxiety and allowed her to concentrate on the tiny things that we all have a tendency to overlook.

“Staying calm, staying less distracted. It makes life easier,” she said.

Bramen and her colleagues’ next move is to conduct a longer-term study on a larger sample size to examine the potential long-term effects of low-carb consumption on cognition and brain health.