Two Food Compounds can reduce Alzheimer’s Risk!

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 16th, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Two Food Compounds can reduce Alzheimer's Risk!

At our clinic, we specialize in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). We offer Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Replacement Therapy, Sermorelin Therapy, and several other hormone treatments designed to restore our client's hormones to a youthful, healthy level.

But we don’t stop with HRT.

That’s right. Our treatment regimens included scientific nutrition and what foods to eat and not eat, how to control stress, what proper hydration means, what supplements you should take, the proper exercise routines that reduce injury and promote longevity, creating a toxin-free environment, and the latest research developments in the fields of longevity, health, and preventing the crippling diseases that are so common and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Here is an example of recent research on AD.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a universally feared affliction for a good reason: it robs its victims of their humanity by destroying their brains until they have no idea where they are, who their closest family members and friends are, and even who they themselves are.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and its occurrence is expected to increase in the coming decades.

Here are the grim statistics:

  • Around 6.2 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease

  • More than 1 in 9 people (11.3%) over age 65 have AD.

  • The percentage of folks with AD rises by 5.3% for ages 65-74, 13.8 % for ages 75-84, and 34.6 for ages 85 and older.

  • By 2050 it is estimated that 12.7 million people 65 and older will suffer from this dreaded disease

  • 1 in 3 senior citizens dies from AD or another type of dementia. This is more than the deaths from prostate and breast cancer combined

  • AD is officially the sixth leading cause of death, but the disease might be responsible for more deaths than recognized.

  • Deaths resulting from AD between 2000 and 2019 have spiraled by an astonishing 145%! Compare that to the increase of 7.3 % for the nation's number one killer heart disease.

  • More horrifying, AD is the only top-10 cause of death with no known cure

  • 65% of AD patients are women

  • The estimated number of caregivers for folks with AD and other related types of dementia is 11.2 million.

  • These AD caregivers provided 15.3 billion hours of unpaid labor to AD patients in 2020, for an estimated value of $257 billion.

  • These numbers do not account for the skyrocketing rates of depression for caregivers.

  • In 2021, the cost of AD care was estimated to explode to $355 billion.

  • For 2050, AD’s project cost is projected to balloon to an unbelievable $1.1 trillion!

Hopefully, the point is well-taken: AD is a swath of devastation on many levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially, for the victims, their caregivers, and our entire society. These costs are immeasurable and tragic. Therefore, anything to slow down this monstrosity should be considered.

A recent study at Tufts University looked at 21 different compounds in Alzheimer’s-afflicted neural cells in the lab, measuring the compounds’ effect on the growth of sticky beta-amyloid plaques that develop in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Of the 21 substances examined, two of them – resveratrol, a polyphenol found in specific plants, food, and red wine, and green tea catechins – reduced the formation of those dangerous plaques with minimal side effects.

Some of the 21 compounds tested lowered the disease progression by acting as anti-viral agents—slowing Alzheimer’s caused by the herpes virus.

But finding a compound “that could diminish the plaques regardless of the virus component would be ideal because that would show that regardless of the cause of Alzheimer’s, you might still see some kind of improvement,” says Dana Cairns, GBS12. Cairns is a research associate in the Kaplan Lab in the School of Engineering and led the research.

The screening began using simple models, and compounds that showed a positive effect were tested in the 3D neural tissue model. That model is created using a nonreactive silk sponge seeded with human skin cells that, through genetic reprogramming, are transformed into neural stem cell progenitors.

Those cells expand and populate the sponge, “which allows for 3D network formation of neurons similar to what you’d see in the human brain,” Cairns says.

The initial screen lowered the field to five compounds with “really robust prevention of these plaques,” she says. In addition to the green tea compounds and resveratrol, they discovered curcumin (a spice from turmeric), the diabetic drug Metformin, and a substance called citicoline (CDP-Choline) stopped plaques from forming and did not have anti-viral effects.

We hoped to find compounds that would be harmless and show some level of efficacy,” she said. Green tea compounds and resveratrol met that standard. “We got lucky that some of these showed some pretty strong efficacy,” Cairns said.

In the case of these compounds that passed the screening, they had virtually no plaques visible after about a week.” Green tea catechins—molecules in the tea leaves that have an antioxidant effect—have been explored as a potential treatment for cancers, and resveratrol has been tested for anti-aging properties.

Cairns warned that effects in the lab “doesn’t always necessarily translate to what you might see in a patient.” Some compounds do not cross the blood-brain barrier required for Alzheimer’s, and some have low bioavailability, meaning they are not easily absorbed into the body or bloodstream.

Still, the discovery is significant since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or a proven way to slow or stop its progression, apart from several potential drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies that are still in trials, Cairns says.

Compounds like these two that show some efficacy and are proven safe and easily accessible could be taken as a supplement or consumed as part of one’s diet, she adds. “For example, natural sources of resveratrol include red wine, certain fruits such as grapes, blueberries, and cranberries, peanuts, pistachios, and cocoa,” says Cairns.

While it is empowering to be able to take measures like these to potentially prevent neurodegeneration in the future, it is also important to consult with your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet.”

In the future, a possible area of research for scientists and pharmaceutical companies would be to take the beneficial properties of these compounds and “try to enhance them to make them more bioavailable or make them penetrate the blood-brain barrier a bit better,” Cairns says.

The researchers reported their findings in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

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