Accumulating evidence suggests a diet high in protein and fiber may confer some protection against Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, no human studies to-date have assessed the relationship between protein and fiber intake, and plasma and brain amyloid-β (Aβ). Consequently, this cross-sectional study, investigated the association of self-reported dietary intakes of protein and fiber, with plasma and brain Aβ burden (n = 541, and n = 162 respectively), in a well-characterized cohort of cognitively normal older adults, drawn from the larger Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study of aging. We observed 12.59 and 8.43 higher odds of 'high' brain Aβ burden (PiB PET SUVR≥1.5) if protein intake fell in the lowest and middle tertile, respectively, compared to the highest tertile (p = 0.008; p = 0.013). Thus, in this cohort, the more protein consumed, the less likelihood of 'high' Aβ burden in the brain. No other significant associations were observed. The results of this study highlight the potentially protective impact of high dietary protein intake on brain Aβ burden in older adults, before objective memory decline is apparent. While longitudinal validation is required, these findings may assist in the development of dietary approaches aimed at preventing or delaying AD onset.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; PiB PET; amyloid-β; dietary fiber; dietary protein.