Traditionally, a diet rich in fat is said to be unhealthy as it may trigger obesity and other conditions. However, there are both healthy and unhealthy fats and it is essential to make the differentiation between foods that contain healthy fats and those that contain unhealthy fats. A fat-rich diet consisting of foods like olive oil, fatty fish, coconut oil etc. is said to have several health benefits. A new study has said that consuming a fat-rich diet during pregnancy may help reduce risk of Alzheimer's in kids. The study has indicated that high consumption of fats during the gestational period of pregnancy may offer protection against changes in the kids' brains that are symptoms of a late-onset of Alzheimer's disease. The condition is characterised by progressive loss of memory and other mental functions.
The study report titled, "Gestational high fat diet protects 3xTg offspring from memory impairments, synaptic dysfunction, and brain pathology" was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry and it summarised the results of a research conducted on rodent subjects. To understand the link between maternal Alzheimer's and the risks of the disease in her offspring, the researchers looked at fat intake during gestation in mice that were engineered to develop Alzheimer's. Pregnant mice were fed a high-fat diet during gestation and after the end of pregnancy they were switched over to a regular diet. The offspring of these mothers were kept at the same diet. At 11 months, the offspring mice were made to undergo certain tests to check memory and learning ability.
The researchers observed that mice born of mothers who were fed the high-fat diet during gestation had much better learning abilities as compared to others whose mothers were fed a regular diet. Offspring of mothers fed a high-fat diet had significant improvement in synaptic function and also had better synaptic integrity as compared to others. The report said, "Maternal history for sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) predisposes the offspring to the disease later in life. However, the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are still unknown. Lifestyle and nutrition can directly modulate susceptibility to AD."
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