Nutrients That Prevent Alzheimer’s
Published on: November 5, 2014
by Russell Blaylock, M.D. for News Max Health:
By now, most people have heard of the beneficial effects of red wine for heart health. More recent studies have also confirmed that red wine consumption significantly reduces spatial memory loss in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease.
Resveratrol, one of the active components of grapes, has been shown to reduce the accumulation of a substance called amyloid beta in the brain, and to suppress inflammation of the brain by inhibiting microglial activation — which is the mechanism for amyloid production.
Amyloid is the brain “crud” that accumulates in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Another beneficial plant flavonoid is called baicalein, an extract of a plant called skullcap, which has been shown to protect brain cells from damage by toxins and excitotoxicity (the process of nerve damage through continuous stimulation), as well as safeguarding the brain during strokes.
Skullcap powerfully protects against free radical creation and lipid peroxidation in the brain, and reduces microglia-induced brain inflammation and immunoexcitotoxicity (excitotoxicity triggered by the body’s immune response).
A number of plant flavonoids also chelate iron, which means they bind the iron atoms, preventing the formation of free radicals, and thus protecting the brain. Flavonoids with this property include:
• Green and white tea flavonoids
This is important property because free iron in specific locations in the aging brain is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and plays a major role in stroke damage. These flavonoids do not interfere with normal iron functions.
Luteolin, found in high concentrations in celery and parsley, not only reduces microglial activation, it also switches microglia to a protective state, a mechanism that is impaired with Alzheimer’s disease and possibly chronic brain damage associated with multiple brain injuries in sports (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
Another study found that both apigenin (another flavonoid) and luteolin protect the brain by reducing microglial activation.
In addition, there is strong evidence that activation of microglia in the aging brain is playing a central role in a number of neurological disorders, including strokes, brain infections, vaccine damage, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases.
As we age, the microglia in the brain become progressively more activated. In people with Alzheimer’s dementia, there is widespread, intense microglial activation.
A number of flavonoids control brain inflammation by suppressing microglial activation; these include curcumin, quercetin, fisetin, EGCG, and resveratrol.