Researchers from Tel Aviv University report in the PLoS ONE journal that the common spice cinnamon found in many kitchen pantries around the world may hold a crucial key to preventing Alzheimer`s disease. Alzheimer`s disease cases are growing at an exponential pace, currently affecting one in eight people over the age of 65. An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, has been shown to inhibit the development and progression of the disease in this latest study.
Researchers from the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University found that potent extracts from cinnamon bark inhibit the toxic amyloid polypeptide oligomers and fibrils that have been found in Alzheimer`s brain plaque formations. The healing power of cinnamon has been known since biblical times as high priests used the spice to protect against infectious disease. Antiviral properties have been confirmed by modern research and have prompted studies to further examine extracts from the spice that may stop the development of Alzheimer`s disease.
Scientists have isolated the CEppt active compound found in cinnamon bark and created an aqueous solution for use in research experiments. The solution was fed to mice genetically altered to develop an aggressive form of Alzheimer`s disease. After a period of four months, researchers found that development of the disease had been slowed dramatically and activity levels and longevity were comparable to a control group of healthy mice.
In addition to the disease regression findings, researchers determined that the cinnamon extract was found to break up the classic amyloid protein clusters in test tube experiments. Lead researcher Professor Michael Ovadia believes this indicates that CEppt is not only important to inhibit the development and progression of Alzheimer`s disease, but this may also help to break up existing tangles once they have formed.
Using olive oil as much as possible could preserve your memory. Oleocanthal, a compound in olive oil, has been found to slow down changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer's. Researchers believe it will become a key ingredient in medicines designed to combat the disease. Alzheimer's disease is thought to occur when a protein called ADDL attacks brain cells. Scientists at the University of Philadelphia discovered that oleocanthal in olive oil changes ADDL in a way that makes it harmless. Oleocanthal gives olive oil its peppery taste and is highest in virgin oils.
Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, has been known to be useful in reversing memory loss for over 60 years. Niacinamide therapy was used clinically, with good effect in the 1940s by William Kaufman, Ph.D, M.D., who wrote two well-regarded and well-researched books on the nutrient. It is thought that niacinamide works by clearing "tangles" of a protein known as tau in brain cells. In Alzheimer's disease, this protein becomes poisonous and contributes to dangerous clogging inside brain cells. The therapeutic effect of niacinamide is further associated with an increase in "microtubules." These microtubules are like intra-cellular highways carrying information inside brain cells. In Alzheimer's, these information highways have broken down. Niacimimide has the effect of building a wider, more stable information highway.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, can be found in nuts, dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Some niacin is also supplied by legumes and enriched breads and cereals. The best dietary sources of vitamin B3 are found in beets, brewer's yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, pork, turkey, chicken, veal, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. In plants, especially mature cereal grains like corn and wheat, niacin may be bound to sugar molecules in the form of glycosides, which significantly decrease niacin bioavailability.
Dr. Mary Newport was highly motivated to find an effective treatment for Alzheimer's as her husband was suffering from the disease. She had hoped that he would be put on a clinical trial with a medication that used MCT oil. But her husband's condition was deemed too advanced to participate in the clinical trial. Dr. Newport raced to do her own research, and was surprised to discover that non-hydrogenated coconut oil contains the most concentrated food source for MCTs. She put Steve on a high dosage of coconut oil that she bought from her local health food store, and by the fifth day, she saw, and he felt, tremendous improvement.
RED CABBAGE AND RED BEETS
In a Cornell University study, red cabbage was seen to reduce the build-up of certain plaques in the brain that could cause Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. More support is gathering for the build-up of plaque from amyloid deposits in causing Alzheimer's. The deposits are associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death from oxidative stress. It is against the oxidative stress that the red cabbage polyphenols appear to offer protection. The scientists tested the effect of red and white cabbage polyphenols, extracted from 135 grams of fresh cabbage using chilled methanol extraction, on the oxidative stress on cell cultures by the amyloid protein A-beta. The average total polyphenol concentration of the red cabbage was 190 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh weight, while white cabbages yielded only 45 milligrams per 100 grams. The phenolics from red cabbage significantly blocked A-beta-induced cytotoxicity. Red cabbage is also rich in calcium and anti-cancer flavenoids, the source of the purple color of the red cabbage. Red cabbage is the richest source of flavenoids among all vegetables, besides red beets. Red beets have so much of these flavenoids that it can alarm people who are not used to them, because it turns urine red, from the abundance of the potent flavenoids in red beets.
WALNUTS AND SALMON
Prof. Daniel Michaelson of Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurobiology has discovered that diet high in omega-3s, the fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon as well as in walnuts, appears to significantly block the negative effects of the APOE4 gene - the "bad" APOE gene found in 50% of all Alzheimer's patients and in about 15% of the population.
Finally, there is just good old-fashioned walking. It makes sense that if we can find a way to expand the hippocampus - a part of the brain important to the formation of memories - then we can find a way to keep a part of the brain active that retains memories. In a study just published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers observed the effects on the hippocampus of walking versus other less aerobic exercises (among them, yoga and resistance training). A year later, brain scans of both groups showed that the hippocampus had increased in volume an average of 2 percent in the walkers; yet, in the non-walkers, the hippocampus declined by 1.4 percent. This level of decline in size is normal in older adults; but this level of increase is quite remarkable. While both groups showed improvement on a test of spatial memory, the walkers improved more.
So get plenty of cinnamon, vitamin B3 from natural sources, olive oil, and right after you take a power walk, indulge in some delicious red cabbage, peanuts or walnuts and brain-protective coconut oil.