Can certain foods help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease? With a progressive loss of brain function that slowly destroys memory and thinking capability, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s is said to result from the deposit of proteins called amyloid-beta protein peptides that are produced as a result of genetic mutations and eventually form plaques in the brain. Many substances, including various food products, are thought to block the buildup of amyloid-beta peptides and have shown promising results in studies using laboratory animals. Researchers in Canada conducted a study to further confirm previous results of various substances showing the ability to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but this time, using two different tests using synthetic forms of peptides, as well as brain tissues of mice and humans who had died of Alzheimer’s disease.
Of the substances tested, those that showed marginal blocking ability against amyloid-beta peptides were ginger, blueberries, rhubarb, turmeric, cinnamon and resveratrol. Unlike the findings by previous research, curcumin and garlic extract failed to show any benefits in this study. Further research to find powerful substances with ability to block the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides would likely lead to development of medications for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The substances also need to be in molecular forms small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier before reaching the brain, which is more realistic in a research setting at this time.
A healthy clean diet is always a good idea for general health and to stave off dementia. You may also consider incorporating some tai chi as part of your exercise routine to help maintain both body and mental health.