People genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s can reduce their risk of developing the disease by reducing their caloric intake.

So suggests a study published today in The Archives of Neurology.

For the study, “Caloric Intake and the Risk of Alzheimer Disease,” researchers examined 980 people over 65 who were involved in a long-term aging project. While none showed dementia symptoms at the beginning of the study, 242 developed Alzheimer’s after four years.

Among these, 68% had a gene, apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele, associated with Alzheimer’s that’s believed to facilitate plaque buildup in the brain.

Scientists divided people with the gene into four groups based on caloric consumption, and found that those with the highest caloric intake were 2.3 times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as those with the lowest. They found no correlation, however, between caloric consumption and dementia in those without the gene.