The Nutrients Alzheimer's Patients are Missing

Alzheimer's is a condition that has a profound impact not only on individuals who are afflicted by it, but also on those around them. Many people have concerns about the possibility of developing Alzheimer's in their later years. This is why scientists are constantly striving to gain a deeper understanding of the disease and its underlying causes.

In an effort to shed light on this complex issue, researchers from the "Memory and Aging" project at RUSH University in Chicago collaborated with experts from the Research Institute of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Together, they conducted tests to determine which essential nutrients may be lacking in the brains of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's.

 Which nutrients are missing in the brains of Alzheimer's patients?

The study in question was published towards the end of June 2023. To test their hypothesis, the scientists examined samples of brain donations from older individuals who had Alzheimer's disease as well as those who were healthy. They carefully separated the gray matter and white matter of the brain and employed a technique called HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) to extract and analyze the nutrients present in them. The findings revealed a significant difference in carotenoid levels between Alzheimer's patients and healthy individuals.

Two specific types of carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, were found to be notably lower in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. These carotenoids are commonly associated with promoting eye health and can be found abundantly in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as broccoli, beans, corn, persimmons, eggs.
green leafy

Furthermore, retinol (a form of vitamin A derived from animals) was also identified to be reduced in Alzheimer's brains. Retinol is essential not only for maintaining good vision, but also for supporting immune system function and overall skin health. Food sources rich in retinol include beef liver, fish eggs, dairy products.

In addition to these options, the body has the ability to convert beta-carotene from plant sources into retinol. Some recommended sources of beta-carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins.

Another important antioxidant is lycopene, which gives fruits and vegetables with a red hue their color. Foods that contain lycopene include tomatoes, watermelons, guavas, and papayas.

Alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form of vitamin E. It acts as an antioxidant that helps protect cells in the body from damage. Good sources of alpha-tocopherol include nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, seeds such as sunflower seeds, vegetable oils like sunflower oil, spinach broccoli, and avocados.


 Will eating these foods help protect me from Alzheimer's?

Now let's address whether consuming these foods can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In short, based on research conducted by scientists studying participants who followed the MIND diet (a diet known for reducing Alzheimer's risk and improving cognition), it is likely that incorporating these foods into one's diet may help reduce Alzheimer's risk.

The MIND diet specifically emphasizes consuming carotenoids among other things, making all of these aforementioned foods suitable choices for individuals looking to lower their susceptibility to this neurodegenerative disease.
This research presents novel findings regarding the insufficiency of vital antioxidants in the brains of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. These results align with previous studies conducted on a large sample size, which have demonstrated that individuals who adhere to a diet abundant in carotenoids or possess elevated levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their bloodstream are at significantly lower risk for developing Alzheimer's. Professor Caitlin Dorey, one of the study's authors, stated, "Additionally, we posit that maintaining a diet rich in carotenoids not only promotes brain health during old age but also at any stage of life."

 Additional ways to protect our brain from degenerative diseases

There are multiple strategies available to safeguard the brain against Alzheimer's disease, beyond just following the MIND diet. In fact, this dietary plan has significant similarities with the Mediterranean Diet, which is also recommended for maintaining optimal cognitive function and youthfulness. However, it is crucial to note that nutrition alone cannot single-handedly protect against this condition. To ensure comprehensive brain protection, measures should be employed across all aspects of life.

This entails implementing various practices such as engaging in mental stimulation activities like puzzles or reading books; adopting regular exercise routines which have been shown to boost cognitive function and decrease dementia risk; getting sufficient sleep as inadequate rest can impair memory and cognition; managing stress levels through relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga; avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as they can negatively impact brain health.

By incorporating these preventive measures into daily habits alongside proper nutrition choices ensures holistic care for our brains throughout our lifetimes while minimizing susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease.
Maintaining an active body is crucial for promoting brain health and cognitive function. Physical activity stimulates blood circulation to the brain and facilitates the formation of neural connections. Additionally, engaging in regular exercise helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases that can contribute to cognitive decline.

The health of the digestive system is closely linked to brain health as well. The intestines house certain bacteria that produce neurotransmitters essential for optimal brain function. These bacteria also aid in reducing inflammation, which plays a significant role in both brain and overall bodily neurodegeneration.

Incorporating food supplements can also support brain health. Recommended supplements include fish oil, vitamin D3, coenzyme Q10, and phosphatidyl-serine. However, it is highly advised to consult with a medical professional before adding these supplements into your routine.

To maintain optimal brain health, it is important to limit consumption of certain foods known for their potential inflammatory effects on the body and oxidative stress on the brain. Examples include red meat, fried food items, carbohydrates (e.g., refined grains), and excessive sugar intake.

happy seniors

 In conclusion,

Prioritizing physical activity while being mindful of your diet are crucial factors in preserving cognitive function and preventing neurodegenerative conditions. It's important not to delay taking action, as it's always a good time to begin. Alter your routines and pay particular attention to what you eat, so that your brain receives the necessary nutrients for long-term functionality.
Take all possible measures to safeguard against Alzheimer's disease, as it has the potential to devastate both your own life and the lives of those close to you. Remember that you possess the ability to prevent or at least postpone its onset – this responsibility lies in your hands.
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