Alzheimer's Disease as a Consequence of Maladaptive Fructose Metabolism

Researchers here discuss the proposal that Alzheimer's disease results from high sugar and glycemic carbohydrate intake. It is certainly possible that this mechanism contributes, but one has to ask why, if this was a dominant mechanism, is lifestyle much less correlated with Alzheimer's incidence than is the case for common metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes? One of the challenges all along with Alzheimer's is that it doesn't have a strong enough correlation with metabolic dysfunction and lifestyle choice to believe that it can be wholly, or even largely, a metabolic condition.

An important aspect of survival is to assure enough food, water, and oxygen. Here, we describe a recently discovered response that favors survival in times of scarcity, and it is initiated by either ingestion or production of fructose. Unlike glucose, which is a source for immediate energy needs, fructose metabolism results in an orchestrated response to encourage food and water intake, reduce resting metabolism, stimulate fat and glycogen accumulation, and induce insulin resistance as a means to reduce metabolism and preserve glucose supply for the brain. How this survival mechanism affects brain metabolism, which in a resting human amounts to 20% of the overall energy demand, is only beginning to be understood.

Here, we review and extend a previous hypothesis that this survival mechanism has a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease and may account for many of the early features, including cerebral glucose hypometabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. We propose that the pathway can be engaged in multiple ways, including diets high in sugar, high glycemic carbohydrates, and salt. In summary, we propose that Alzheimer's disease may be the consequence of a maladaptation to an evolutionary-based survival pathway and what had served to enhance survival acutely becomes injurious when engaged for extensive periods. Although more studies are needed on the role of fructose metabolism and its metabolite, uric acid, in Alzheimer's disease, we suggest that both dietary and pharmacologic trials to reduce fructose exposure or block fructose metabolism should be performed to determine whether there is potential benefit in the prevention, management, or treatment of this disease.



Possible I suppose but seems unlikely because of the large number of studies showing fruit consumption being associated with less cognitive disease.

Posted by: Lee at February 20th, 2023 6:25 AM
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