- Great news this week for Alzheimer’s sufferer’s…
- Why South Asians have healthier brains – could it be down to this one ingredient?
- And finally – the surprising link between a tomato and a potential Alzheimer’s remedy
Some more good news this week… An article on the BBC website on Wednesday offered some new hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers – and for the millions of people who may one day develop the condition.
There’s a new drug known as “aducanumab” (try saying that one out loud!) which is showing great promise. It attacks plaques made of a protein called Amyloid, which builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
The research shows that the drug could safely halt their decline. It’s early days but this could be the breakthrough the world has been waiting for.
One of this involved in the experiments, Dr Alfred Sandrock, says:
“One day I could envisage treating people who have no symptoms because if you have amyloid in the brain it’s likely you’ll develop Alzheimer’s one day.”
So this could be a preventative as well as a cure, saving our health services billions and relieving families of the devastation of watching a love one go through this ordeal.
If this subject interests you, then take a look at this post on the People’s Doctor website.
It reveals a very interesting statistic…
In 2009 a World Alzheimer’s Report in 2009 showed that only 3.6% of South Asians over the age of 60 have dementia…
This is compared with 7.2% in Europe.
So how could South Asians be HALVING their rate of dementia?
Well, it could be down to something they eat.
Talking of food and Alzheimer’s…
All hail the disease-fighting SUPER TOMATO
At the end of last year, British scientists announced that they’d created a ‘super-tomato’ which could fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
This tomato is packed with a compound known as resveratrol which you also get in red wine…
Although, before you go running off to crack open a bottle… according to a 2010 study, you would have to drink 40 litres of wine a day to reap the benefits.
However, this is why the new super tomato is an exciting potential breakthrough. Because in just one tomato there is the equivalent resveratrol found in FIFTY bottles of red wine.
And this could be important for Alzheimer’s sufferers….
It was back in 2003 that pioneering researcher Dr. David Sinclair discovered that resveratrol could slow aging by activating a longevity gene called SIRT1. Later he successfully extended the lives of mice through the same process.
Last year another researcher named, Dr. R. Scott Turner, a professor of neurology, created a purified form of resveratrol for his experiments.
He gave this to one group of Alzheimer’s patients and also a placebo another.
The group who took the high dosage of resveratrol experienced no further build-up in Amyloid brain plaques. They also showed lower brain volume, indicating that their brains weren’t swelling as much as the placebo group – another symptom of Alzheimer’s.
So perhaps one day soon we’ll all be getting prescribed a super tomato as a way of preventing Alzheimer’s, as well as reducing our risk of many other killer diseases.
But of course, if this approach works, it won’t simply be tomatoes.
The future of preventative medicine might be that instead of drugs we might be eating all manner of super-enhanced foods containing high levels of nutrients to target the biggest health problems of our time.
What do you think about that?
I know a lot of people are suspicious and worried about genetic modification in food. I sympathise with this, but it’s worth bearing something in mind. The natural fruit and vegetables we eat now are dramatically lower in nutrients than they were fifty years ago.
This is thanks to modern farming methods, long transportation distances and new disease resistant strains.
And really, when you think about it, all produce has been genetically modified over time through selection processes, in the same way as the modern cow is a far different beast than it would be if we’d never domesticated it.
There are natural ways to get more resveratrol into your system, of course. You could eat more of this:
- Red Grapes – these contain resveratrol in their the skins as well as vitamins K, C and B1.
- Blueberries – they have less resveratrol that grapes, but are a good second best. However they also have other antioxidants as well as vitamins C and K
- Peanut Butter – this contains resveratrol as well as niacin and manganese.
- Dark Chocolate – this not only has resveratrol but other antioxidants and minerals like iron, and manganese.
Naturally, this comes with the caveat that you need to keep up your exercise and eat a balanced diet.
Finally, in case you missed it…
On Thursday I wrote to you about a natural fruit that does all kinds of good for you. It grows in a unique soil and climate that produces a high concentration of polyphenols and flavonoids, plus special compounds that block one of the key enzymes in the production of cholesterol.
In other words…. it works just like a statin.
If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at this webpage.
That’s it from me, enjoy your weekend and look out for my email on Thursday.
Until then, stay healthy!