Nutrients to Fight Alzheimer's Disease?
October 11, 2004
By Tanya Zilberter, Ph.D.
There is increasing research evidence that free radicals damage fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the brain during Alzheimer's disease. Research results from Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of Kentucky, showed that nutrition deficiencies can cause Alzheimer and proper nutrients can help fighting it.
There is increasing research evidence that free radicals damage fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the brain during Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, free radicals' enemies, antioxidants, can help fight against the disease.
The oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overcome the antioxidant defense mechanisms. The brain is especially vulnerable to free radical damage because of its increases oxygen consumption, abundant fat content, and weak antioxidant enzymes compared with other organs.
Thus, it's logical to use antioxidants for therapy of Alzheimer's disease. Preliminary evidence exists that antioxidant therapy slows down or delays the Alzheimer's onset and decreases the risk factors for the disease.
Factors proven to increase oxidative damage included cigarette smoking, some toxins such as mercury, and severe infection. Strenuous exercise also increases our free radical production, but it also enhances the oxidative defenses.
Antioxidants and their sources in foods
• Vitamin E (found in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, canned, fresh, or sun-dried tomatoes, almonds)
• Vitamin C (found in black currants, lemons, oranges, collard greens, kale, brussel sprouts, red cabbage, snow peas and broccoli)
• Carotenoids (found in all plant foods: the more colored, the higher the level of carotenoids)
• Selenium (found in tuna, multigrain bread, and Brazil nuts) Coenzyme Q (found in fish and meat, spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ and whole grains. Our bodies are able to produce Q10)
• Melatonin (foods rich in Melatonin's precursor Tryptophan are: poultry, dairy, soy, seafood, hazelnuts, peanuts, sesame and sunflower seeds)
• Green Tea
• Honey - Nutritional value of honey is a very interesting topic and we have an article in preparation about the healing power of honey and other bee products.
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