While you may love to gorge on eggs, meat and fish, researchers have revealed an amino acid which causes memory loss and is most abundant in such foods.
University of Louisville researchers investigated the effects of a diet rich in methionine, an amino acid, and found that it promoted memory loss through increased methylation of netrin, a protein important for maintaining the brain.
Dr Anuradha Kalani conducted an experiment along with other researchers, where mice were fed with a diet containing high amounts of methionine and low amounts of folate and vitamins B6 and B12.
They measured the mice’s memory capability along with netrin and methylation levels in the mice’s brains and found that the longer the mice were on the diet, the less netrin was expressed and the more the netrin gene was methylated.
The researchers noted that the data confirmed that a high-methionine diet induced learning and memory defects.
The researchers said that the studies had shown that a healthy diet can boost memory. However, their findings suggested that an excess methionine diet caused memory impairment and hyper-methylation that affected netrin expression, which was a protein important in maintaining synaptic plasticity and involved in axonal guidance and neurogenesis.
The story was presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting 2015.