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News 383 views update:Jun 21, 2007

Could foie gras be a cause of Alzheimers?

Apparently foie gras may be linked to the onset of diseases, including Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

A study was recently carried out by researchers at the University of Tennessee. They examined the health effects of foie gras, considered a luxury since ancient Egyptian times. It was suggested that people who have a family history of such illnesses should consider avoiding the delicacy.
The possible risk comes from “amyloid” proteins found in the foie gras, which is made from the swollen livers of force-fed geese and ducks. These proteins have been linked to the onset of such conditions conditions.
Researchers found that mice fed on foie gras started growing amyloid proteins in various organs. They observed a similar result when extract of foie gras was injected into the rodents' bloodstream.
The story goes on to say that the possible link between food and amyloid diseases needs to be confirmed by further studies, for example comparing populations to see how disease prevalence varies with diet.
In Britain, 700,000 people out of a population of 60 million have dementia. France, with a similar population, has 1 million sufferers. But there are many causes and the difference in prevalence is not being linked to far higher French consumption of foie gras.
 
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