Foods Loaded With Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene May Fight Dementia
A new study lends credence to the premise that the forgetfulness, cognitive decline and lack of orientation associated with aging are not necessarily inevitable. Published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research suggests that eating food sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene might prevent the onset and development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
An affliction shared by 5.4 million Americans, Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a buildup of toxic plaque in the brain, leading to nerve cell damage. Although the exact cause of the plaque accumulation has not been determined, researchers believe that the main agent responsible for it is free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that harm the cells. If this is so, it is logical to assume that antioxidants, which can bind and inactivate free radicals, can fight the plaque that produces the devastating symptoms.
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In order to stave off Alzheimer’s disease, we need to determine the risk factors, says lead author, Gabriele Nagel. Postulating that low dietary antioxidants could play a role in the disease, researchers set out to explore this possibility.
Conducted at the University of Ulm in Germany, the study involved elderly adults between 65 to 90 years old who underwent neuropsychological evaluation and provided information regarding their lifestyle. Examining the blood of 158 healthy participants and 74 participants with mild dementia, researchers measured the serum concentration levels of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, as well as coenzyme Q10 and lycopene.
The results were interesting. After comparing the levels of gender-matched adults of the same age, the findings revealed the serum concentrations of vitamin C and beta-carotene in the dementia patients were significantly lower than levels in the blood of healthy individuals. No differences were found in serum levels of the other three antioxidants.
Further studies with a larger number of participants are needed to verify the finding that dietary sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene may fight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, states Nagel. Vitamin C can be found in oranges and grapefruit, in addition to lemons and limes, while beta-carotene is present in carrots, apricots and spinach.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.