A diet rich in methionine may promote memory loss through increased netrin methylation, scientists from University of Louisville reported. Findings from the study were presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston, MA.

Researchers fed mice a diet containing high methionine (1.2%) and low amounts of folate (0.08mg/kg) and vitamins B6 (0.01mg/kg) and B12 (10.4mg/kg) for six weeks. The level of netrin and methylation, as well as the mice’s memory capability were measured. The team observed a time-dependent decrease in netrin expression and an increase in methylation of the netrin gene promoter the longer the mice were on the diet.

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Study findings support the conclusion that a high-methionine diet induces learning and memory defects. Moreover, the memory loss seems to be associated with reduced levels of netrin due to its over-methylation, authors conclude.

For more information visit ExperimentalBiology.org.