Fruit juice fights the Forgetting

20. September 2006

Everyone consuming fruit- and vegetable juices on a regular basis, lowers his risk to get Alzheimer by 76 percent. The clinical study published in the September issue of the professional magazine "American Journal of Medicine" is considered a sensation.

The Shooting Stars of Alzheimer prevention are juices. Whether it'sapple, grape or oranges, carrots, tomato or celery – fruit andvegetables in their fluid form have astonishing powers in the fightagainst the forgetting. In a largely applied study, Americanresearchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centerexamined a group of 1836 people of Japanese origin and free of dementiaand Alzheimer. In order to set a basis line of their cognitiveperformances at the beginning of the studies, the subjects, coming fromSeattle, were tested with the psychometric CASI-test (CognitiveAbilities Screening Instrument). CASI is an important tool forAlzheimer researchers to record the cognitive performance of subjects.

Over a period of 10 years further tests were made on a regular basis.That way the researchers were in a position to observe the developmentof Alzheimer within the originally healthy group. At the same time thesubjects had to provide details about their eating- and drinkinghabits. On the basis of standardized, pictorial questionnaires it waspossible to reconstruct, which patients still did not show anyindications of Alzheimer at the end of the studies .

Nutrition habits were astonishing

The comparison with the nourishment data showed the following: 76percent of all subjects consuming fruit- and vegetable juices at leastthree times a week were free of Alzheimer – although 1047 of themcarried the risk allele ApoE-ε4. The ε4 allele appears in about 65percent of all Alzheimer patients and is reckoned to be a relevant riskfactor. The genetic product of ApoE-ε4 supposedly is part of thebuilding and deposit of senile plaques of β-amyloide.

The fact that this high risk group of all people kept healthy byconsuming fruit- and vegetable juices regularly, initially puzzled thephysicians. Because the original assumption , that antioxidativevitamins alone would prevent the formation of plaques could not becertified: Subjects taking vitamins without drinking juices proved toget Alzheimer far more often than the juice consumers.

"We thought, that the relevant substance had to be something else",recalls Qi Dai, the director of studies. After analysis of the data, inthe prevention of Alzheimer biochemistry polyphenoles seem to play thekey role. Mainly the yellow natural substance Quercetine occurring inapples and grapes, can overcome the blood-brain barrier of men. There,the substance belonging to the sub-group of flavonoides, interferesdirectly with the genesis process of Alzheimer – and blocks thebuilding of the dreaded plaques by protecting the healthy neurons fromperoxidations by hydrogen peroxide being set free within the Alzheimerpathogenesis of beta-amyloide-peptide. The results, now published inthe "American Journal of Medicine", also allow the assumption thatpolyphenole provide a much stronger oxidative protection that vitamin Cfor example. The "magic power" of the juices is not only based onantioxidative polyphenoles. Folates seem to be associated with a lowerrisk of Alzheimer as well.

Why juices detain the genesis of the disease better than the fruitsthemselves, is clear now as well: The paring of fruit and vegetablescontain potent polyphenoles as natural pigments – and those, differentfrom a peeled apple for example, go straight and concentrated into thehuman organism. If you want to protect yourself against mentaldegeneration, you should just follow one simple rule: drink a differentjuice every day.

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