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Fruit, vegetable juices may stall Alzheimer's disease
6/20/2005- Certain polyphenols
abundant in fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in
delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, reports Dominique Patton.
Amy Borenstein from the University of South Florida said yesterday that her
team had found a 75 per cent reduced risk of the disease among
elderly people who drank fruit or vegetable juices at least three times per
week compared with those who drank these juices less than once a week.
There was no apparent
dementia-related benefit from dietary or supplemental vitamin E, C or
beta-carotene intake, she added.
The research was presented at the US-based Alzheimer's Association’s first
conference on prevention of dementia, running in Washington this week
There are nearly 18 million people with dementia in the world and the most
common cause of this dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025 this figure
will rise to 34 million, with 71 per cent of these likely to live in
developing countries, making the need for prevention of the incurable
Ageing populations and increasing overweight are driving incidence of the
The Florida researchers studied more than 1,800 older Japanese American men
and women from the Kame Project in Seattle, in which participants were
dementia-free at the onset of the study and were followed for up to nine
Dietary consumption was determined using a food frequency questionnaire
given at the beginning of the study that provided information on intake of
fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, and fruit and vegetable juices.
The accumulation of reactive oxygen species in the brain are thought to
exhaust antioxidant capacity and lead to the onset or progression of
Antioxidant vitamins, particularly vitamin E from dietary fruits and
vegetables, has been associated with delayed onset of the disease, although
there is little evidence to date that supplements can offer the same
But animal studies have found that a number of
polyphenols from juices have
stronger protection for neuronal cells against oxidation than
vitamins E and C.
"These findings suggest that something as simple as incorporating more fruit
and vegetable juices into our diet may have a significant impact on our
brain health," Borenstein said.
The results could lead to a new avenue of inquiry in the prevention of
Alzheimer’s, the researchers added.
Another poster presentation at the conference found that moderate alcohol
consumption could also influence onset of the disease, confirming previous
studies showing a benefit from wine in particular.
Author Mark Sager from the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school
said: "These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that health
and lifestyle variables in middle age may be associated with the subsequent
risk of developing Alzheimer's in later life."