Dissolve Alzheimer’s plaques

One of the most feared prospects of ageing is the loss of mental faculties and Alzheimer’s Disease is emblematic of that fate. The memory loss and inability to function normally that accompanies Alzheimer’s represents the some of the most feared ageing outcomes. Lots of research is being done into this condition and now it seems that a relatively simple ally in the battle against Alzheimer’s may be readily available.

The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease contain lumps of misfolded protein known as “amyloid plaques”. These plaques are believed to cause cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be affected are those in the brain’s memory centre. At present there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease but there is emphasis on ways to slow the disease and alleviate symptoms. Now a new study suggests that humble vitamin C might play a role in putting the brakes on this troublesome condition.

Researchers treated mice suffering with Alzheimer’s using vitamin C and were surprised to find that adding vitamin C to the diet resulted in portions of the amyloid plaques dissolving. What was even more surprising was the form of vitamin C that was effective.

Traditionally the best form of vitamin C is regarded as ascorbic acid. Once the vitamin has performed its antioxidant duties it becomes dehydroascorbic acid, an apparently less effective form. However, in terms of Alzheimer’s Disease in this study the researchers found that dehydroascorbic was absorbed more effectively than ascorbic acid itself.

That means that fresh fruit does not have to be the only useful source of vitamin C. It could for instance be that orange juice left in the fridge overnight, and therefore high in dehydroascorbic acid, could be just as effective in this case. Fresh should always be your first option with your food but it does mean that you will still get some benefit from the juice a day or so later.

While vitamin C is not a cure for Alzheimer’s it is at least an accessible option in attempting to slow the condition down a little.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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