Health

Tomatoes and green tea may prevent Alzheimer

A diet rich in plants may reverse and prevent Alzheimer symptoms according to a study from the University of Southern California published recently. Researchers focused their attention on two ingredients, found mainly in plants: EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) and FA (ferulic acid). Green tea is very rich in EGCG while tomatoes, rice, wheat, oats and carrots contains a huge amount of FA.

Tomatoes in supermarket
Different types of tomatoes in the supermarket

These two compounds reduce inflammation and excess oxidation stress in the brain, which apparently can induce first symptoms of Alzheimer. Moreover, EGCG and FA prevent a process where some proteins break into smaller proteins. These small and dangerous proteins are called amyloid beta. Sadly, these amyloid beta proteins have the capacity to gum up Alzheimer sufferer’s brains.

However, a plant based diet may inhibit production of the sticky amyloid beta plaques.

Humans and mice

Its all too well up till now! But, this study was done on mice (1) and often many such researches or discoveries cannot apply to human treatments. Nevertheless, the study lend credence to the idea that a diet rich in plants or plant-based supplement might protect against dementia in humans. The lead researcher Terrence Town finds this study “very encouraging” and invites people to make some changes in their diet instead of waiting for a new drug to cure Alzheimer.

Matcha green tea
Different types of green tea

The researchers discovered that FA and EGCG helped restore full working memory in mice in three months. Mice used in the experiment had dementia symptoms and the dosage of FA and EGCG was 30mg per kilogram of body weight. This dosage is well tolerated by humans and easily consumed as a part of a healthy, plant-based diet or in the supplements form.

Only in 3 months

“After three months, combination treatment completely restored working memory and the Alzheimer’s mice performed just as well as the healthy comparison mice,” Town said.

Over a million by 2025

The study supports the idea that combination therapy, rather than a single magic bullet, may offer the best approach to treat people with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia (2). Last updated data is from 15-6-2017. One in 14 people over 65 will develop this disease and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 40. The number of people with Alzheimer is increasing because people are living longer. Therefore, dementia in the UK will have increased to around 1 million.

So, rather than wait for a new drug to prevent or cure Alzheimer, it is better to nourish your brain with healthy compounds found in tomatoes, carrots, oat or green tea.

References:

http://www.jbc.org/content/294/8/2714

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/about/

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