Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods Can Help Ward Off Alzheimer's Disease

·2 min read

Eating foods and consuming drinks filled with antioxidants are two well-known ways to strengthen heart health and lessen inflammation, but new research also says that regularly consuming antioxidants can help maintain the health of your body's cells. According to recent research published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, this will pay dividends when avoiding the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers out of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) note that an imbalance in oxidation and antioxidants in blood can signal that Alzheimer's disease could develop, even up to five years in advance.

"Given that there is an increase in oxidative stress in people who develop the disease, we may regulate the antioxidant systems. For example, we could modulate the antioxidant systems, such as apolipoproteins J and D, which transport lipids and cholesterol in the blood and play an important role in brain function and Alzheimer's disease. Another avenue would be to increase the intake of antioxidants through nutrition," said Professor Charles Ramassamy in a media release.

antioxidant rich healthy foods on slate surface
antioxidant rich healthy foods on slate surface

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Related: The Difference Between Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, Explained

Oxidative stress comes about when an imbalance occurs in the production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues and when the body is unable to detoxify it all. In turn, these stress markers tie to the onset of Alzheimer's. However, by consuming antioxidant-filled foods (like spinach, broccoli, potatoes, berries, and dark chocolate), the risk of developing the disease is lower since they prevent free radical production that damages cells in the body.

The scientists found these markers in plasma extracellular vesicles, also known as the "pockets" that are released by cells, like brain cells. They found the tie between cell damage and the development of Alzheimer's disease through the study of "sporadic" Alzheimer's, which occurs because of the APOE4 susceptibility gene. "By identifying oxidative markers in the blood of individuals at risk five years before the onset of the disease, we could make recommendations to slow the onset of the disease and limit the risks," the researchers added.