Monday, 18 November 2013

Phytochemicals and Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Over 1 million people in US alone are currently afflicted by Alzheimer's disease because of degeneration of hippocampus and cerebral cortex of the brain where memory, language and cognition are located. With this mental disorder, brain cells gradually die and generate fewer and fewer chemical signals day by day resulting in diminished of functions. Overtime memory thinking as well as behavior deteriorates.
Types of food to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease
1. Turmeric, principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia, according to "Effects of different drying methods on the antioxidant properties of leaves and tea of ginger species" by E.W.C. Chan, Y.Y. Lim, S.K. Wong, K.K. Lim, S.P. Tan, F.S. Lianto and M.Y. Yong, posted in Science Direct. It has been used in traditional herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat gastrointestinal symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
 Curcumin is a phytochemical found abundant in the plant. In acidic solutions (pH <7.4) it turns yellow, whereas in basic (pH > 8.6) solutions it turns bright red.
In other study of `NSAID and antioxidant prevention of Alzheimer's disease: lessons from in vitro and animal models.`by Cole GM, Morihara T, Lim GP, Yang F, Begum A, Frautschy SA. (Source from Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Veterans Administration Medical Center, North Hills, CA 91343, USA. gmcole@ucla.edu) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, reseachers found that the unconventional NSAID/antioxidant curcumin was effective, lowering oxidative damage, cognitive deficits, synaptic marker loss, and amyloid deposition. Curcumin proved to be immunomodulatory, simultaneously inhibiting cytokine and microglial activation indices related to neurotoxicity, but increasing an index of phagocytosis. Curcumin directly targeted Abeta and was also effective in other models, warranting further preclinical and clinical exploration(1).

2. Green tea
Epigallocatechin, including catechins, is a phytochemical of Flavan-3-ols, in the group of Flavonoids (polyphenols), found abundantly in green tea, St John wort, black Tea, carob flour, Fuji apples, etc.
In the investgation of the green tea compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in inhibition of Alzheimer's disease β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) neurotoxicity, showed that EGCG interferes with the aromatic hydrophobic core of Aβ. The C-terminal part of the Aβ peptide (residues 22-39) adopts a β-sheet conformation, whereas the N-terminus (residues 1-20) is unstructured. The characteristic salt bridge involving residues D23 and K28 is present in the structure of these oligomeric Aβ aggregates as well. The structural analysis of small-molecule-induced amyloid aggregates will open new perspectives for Alzheimer's disease drug developmen(2).

3. Skins and seed of grape
Resveratrol is a phytochemical in the class of Stilbenoids, found abundantly in skins and seed of grape wine, nuts, peanuts, etc. In the investigation of the neuroprotective properties of resveratrol found that Resveratrol has neuroprotective features both in vitro and in vivo in models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but it has proved to be beneficial also in ischemic stroke, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and epilepsy, according to "Neuroprotective properties of resveratrol in different neurodegenerative disorders" by Albani D, Polito L, Signorini A, Forloni G.(3). Others, in the elucidation of the neuroprotective effect and influence of resveratrol on the extracellular levels of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator during ischemia/reperfusion in rats, found that chronic treatment with resveratrol remarkably reduced the release of excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, aspartate and neuromodulator d-Serine during ischemia and reperfusion; and significantly increased the basal extracellular levels of inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino-n-butyric acid, glycine and taurine. Chronic treatment with resveratrol also ameliorated O-phosphoethanolamine levels and excitotoxic index during ischemia and reperfusio, according to "Neuroprotective effects of resveratrol on ischemic injury mediated by modulating the release of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in rats" by Li C, Yan Z, Yang J, Chen H, Li H, Jiang Y, Zhang Z(4)

4. Tomato
Lycotene is a phytochemical compound and bright red pigment belonging to group of carotene in the family of carotenoids found mostly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. It best known for its inverse correlation between consumption of tomatoes and cancer risk. It has been studied by many researches as a potential compound for prevention and treatment for certain cancers, including prostate and liver cancer. In the study to evaluate lycopene for its potent protective properties already demonstrated in several models of oxidative damage, found that pretreatment with lycopene efficiently attenuated Aβ(25-35)-induced neurotoxicity, as evidenced by the improved cell viability and the decreased apoptotic rate. In addition, lycopene inhibited the reactive oxygen species generation and mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization caused by Aβ(25-35). Lycopene also restored the levels of proapoptotic Bax, antiapoptotic Bcl-2, and inhibited caspase-3 activation. These beneficial effects may contribute to the protection against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity and suggest that the natural antioxidant lycopene has potential for neuroprotection and therefore, may be a promising candidate for Alzheimer's disease AD treatment(5).

5. Algae
Carotenoids are fat soluble organic pigments of plants such as algae, some bacteria, and fungus. It generally cannot be manufactured by animals but have to acquired plants. It is said that consuming caretrnoids can optimize your health against many types of chronic illness as it acts as antioxidant fighting against foreigner invasion such as bacteria and virus and promotes the immune system guarding our body from oxidation causes of irregular cells growth, such as tumors. Carotenoids play a pivotal role in prevention of many degenerative diseases mediated by oxidative stress including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Carotenoids like retinoic acid (RA), all trans retinoic acid (ATRA), lycopene and β-carotene in prevention of AD symptoms primarily through inhibition of amyloid beta (Aβ) formation, deposition and fibril formation either by reducing the levels of p35 or inhibiting corresponding enzymes(6).

6. Etc.

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(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15681801
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22300765
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20848560
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026214
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22044877
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21672580

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