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STUDY: Eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
JOURNAL: Journal of the American Medical Association
AUTHORS: Martha Clare Morris
ABSTRACT: In the latest work to show that vitamins may protect against dementia, new studies suggest that eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
COMMENTARY: THE LATEST studies seem to suggest that vitamin-rich foods, but not vitamin supplements, have greater beneficial effects. The researchers, however, said more definitive studies are needed.
The connection, at least, is considered plausible: Antioxidant vitamins have been shown to block the effects of oxygen molecules called free radicals, which can damage cells and are thought to contribute to cancer and heart disease. And lesions typically associated with exposure to free radicals have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
One of the studies found strong effects from vitamins E and C. In the other, results from vitamin E foods were more conclusive, but researchers said there was a suggestion vitamin C also provided benefits.
Intake of vitamin C, found in foods such as citrus fruits, also appeared to have offer some protection, but those results were not statistically significant, said lead researcher Martha Clare Morris of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.
Morris said participants with the highest vitamin E intake ate amounts that could be obtained from a healthy balanced diet.
There was no protective effect in participants with a gene variation called apoplipoprotein E-4, which has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s.
The other study, from Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, involved 5,395 people in the Netherlands 55 and older who were followed for an average of about six years.
Alzheimer’s developed in 146 participants. Those with high intakes of vitamins E and C were less likely to become afflicted, regardless of whether they had the gene variation.
Other work has hinted that high levels of the amino acid known as homocysteine may also be associated with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that folic acid and other B vitamins may offer some protection.
The bottom line is that getting your nutrients from food based materials is more natural. Dr D'Adamo has always been an advocate for getting your nutritional needs from the diet not from pills.
Anyone interested can use the food nutrient database on the website to check which foods contain the highest amounts of vitamin E and C and then check in regards to their individual blood types and needs. This can help you in finding the foods that are right for you.