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Dementia risk slashed by eating fat found in breakfast favourite, new study says

Fats found in breakfast favourites like eggs could slash the risk of dementia, one study has found.

The fats - which are also found in cooking oils, butter and red meat - are known as triglycerides and higher levels of the lipids in the blood appear to lessen the risk of dementia. In a study of older adults, those with high levels of the fats were 18 per cent less likely to experience the deadly condition when compared to those with half the amount.

Dr Zhen Zhou, of Monash University in Melbourne, said: “Higher triglyceride levels may be reflective of better health and lifestyle behaviours that would protect against dementia. Our findings suggest that triglyceride levels may serve as a useful predictor for dementia risk and cognitive decline in older populations.”

By the end of the decade, experts predict that the number of Brits living and suffering with dementia will surge from 944,000 to over a million. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s, an incurable and debilitating disease. Current research suggests it is caused by proteins building up in the brain.

Though there is no cure, a number of drugs are currently being trialled which show promise in slowing down its progress. But until they are cleared for use, experts say lifestyle improvements are the best way of fighting the disease.

While high trygliceride levels may be linked to a lower dementia risk, the fats come with their own dangers. They are found in food and produced by the liver, and are then either used as energy or stored in fat deposits in the body. If triglyceride levels are too high in the blood, they can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and pancreatitis, reports The Sun.

In this most-recent research, scientists took data from 86,000 adults - who didn't have dementia at the start of the study - aged over 65 in the UK, US and Australia. After 12.5 years, 2,778 of the subjects had developed the condition. Across the group, higher triglyceride levels in the "normal to high-normal range" were linked to a lower risk of dementia.

Dr Zhou said: “Future studies are needed to investigate whether specific components within triglycerides may promote better cognitive function. These could help with developing new preventive strategies.”