Specific Combination of Amino Acids Protects From Brain Degeneration
Amino LP7—a supplement containing seven specific amino acids—can slow down brain degeneration in mice.
In older individuals, low protein diets are linked to poor maintenance of brain function and brain degeneration.
Amino LP7 treatment suppressed neuronal death and thereby reduced brain degeneration, even though the Tau aggregates remained.
These results suggest that essential amino acids can help maintain balance in the brain and prevent brain deterioration.
In a recent study published in Science Advances, Japanese researchers showed that a low protein diet can accelerate brain degeneration in mouse models of poor cognition. More importantly, they found that Amino LP7—a supplement containing seven specific amino acids—can slow down brain degeneration in these animals. Their work expands on previous studies, which have demonstrated the effectiveness of Amino LP7 in improving cognitive function.
Dr. Makoto Higuchi from the National Institutes for Quantum Sciences and Technology, one of the lead scientists on the study, explains, “In older individuals, low protein diets are linked to poor maintenance of brain function. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, we wanted to understand whether supplementation with essential amino acids can protect the brains of older people, and if yes, what mechanisms would contribute to this protective effect.”
First, the researchers studied how a low protein diet affects the brain in mouse models of AD, which generally demonstrate neurodegeneration and abnormal protein aggregates called “Tau” aggregates in the brain. They found that mice consuming a low protein diet not only showed accelerated brain degeneration but also had signs of poor neuronal connectivity. Interestingly, these effects were reversed after supplementation with Amino LP7, indicating that the combination of seven specific amino acids could inhibit brain damage.
Next, the research team examined how Amino LP7 affects different signs of brain degeneration in the AD model. Untreated mice showed high levels of progressive brain degeneration, but Amino LP7 treatment suppressed neuronal death and thereby reduced brain degeneration, even though the Tau aggregates remained. According to Dr. Akihiko Kitamura, who also led this study, “Tau plaques in the brain are characteristic of AD and most treatments target them. However, we have shown that it is possible to overcome this Tau deposition and prevent brain atrophy via supplementation with Amino LP7.”
Next, to understand how Amino LP7 protects the brain, the researchers comprehensively analyzed the gene-level changes induced by Amino LP7. Their findings were quite encouraging. They observed that Amino LP7 reduces brain inflammation and also prevents kynurenine, an inflammation inducer, from entering the brain, thereby preventing inflammatory immune cells from attacking neurons. They also found that Amino LP7 reduces neuronal death and improves neuronal connectivity, improving brain function.
“These results suggest that essential amino acids can help maintain balance in the brain and prevent brain deterioration. Our study is the first to report that specific amino acids can hinder the development of AD,” say Dr. Hideaki Sato and Dr. Yuhei Takado, both of whom majorly contributed to the study. “Although our study was performed in mice, it brings hope that amino acid intake could also modify the development of dementias in humans, including AD,” they add.
The study by this research group throws open several avenues for better understanding how AD occurs and how they can be prevented. Given that Amino LP7 improves brain function in older people without cognitive impairment, their findings suggest that it could also be effective in people with cognitive issues.
Indeed, this patent-pending supplement could one day help millions worldwide live an improved life.
“Neurodegenerative processes accelerated by protein malnutrition and decelerated by essential amino acids in a tauopathy mouse model”
Hideaki Sato, Yuhei Takado, Sakiko Toyoda, Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui, Keiichiro Minatohara, Hiroyuki Takuwa, Takuya Urushihata, Manami Takahashi, Masafumi Shimojo, Maiko Ono, Jun Maeda, Asumi Orihara, Naruhiko Sahara, Ichio Aoki, Sachise Karakawa, Muneki Isokawa, Noriko Kawasaki, Mika Kawasaki, Satoko Ueno, Mayuka Kanda, Mai Nishimura, Katsuya Suzuki, Akira Mitsui, Kenji Nagao, Akihiko Kitamura, Makoto Higuchi
“Science Advances” 22 October, 2021