Nutrition Shows Promise as Alzheimer’s is Linked to Oxidative Stress

Alzheimers and clusterin

Image by Dawn Hudson

New research is showing that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are linked to a process that occurs in the body called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by a combination of poor lifestyle choices and a diet that produces increased levels of oxidative radicals and lower levels of antioxidants.

Recently, researchers from the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Capital Medical University in China analyzed urinary biomarkers of oxidative stress among 46 patients with vascular dementia, 24 patients with vascular disease without dementia, and 26 people without symptoms of either.

They found that patients with dementia had significantly higher levels of a urinary biomarker called 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (or 8-OHdG). 8-OHdG is associated with significantly high levels of oxidative stress. These levels were significantly higher than both of the other groups of patients.

Another recent study, this one from Qingdao University’s School of Medicine, analyzed multiple studies and two large genome studies and concluded that Alzheimer’s disease patients have significantly higher levels of clusterin, also known as apolipoprotein J. Clusterin has been found to bind to amyloid-beta (Abeta) proteins, and has the ability to reduce fibril formation.

It is now thought that in an attempt to resist the formation of the Abeta proteins and fibrils, the body produces clusterin as a defense measure against oxidative stress. This has been confirmed in studies showing that clusterin lowers cell death and levels of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is produced with increased levels of toxin exposure, either within the diet, water or air, combined with lower levels of antioxidants and increased levels of lifestyle stressors. Toxins become oxidized and become radicals, which can damage our arteries and tissues.

Researchers from Columbia’s University of Pontificia Javeriana studied the connection between antioxidant intake and Alzheimer’s disease in a variety of studies. They found that an increased consumption of “polyphenol-rich” foods significantly lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Plant-based foods provide polyphenols.

The researchers confirmed their findings. “It has been demonstrated, in various cell culture and animal models, that these [polyphenol] metabolites are able to protect neuronal cells by attenuating oxidative stress and damage.”

Consider a strategy for gently cleansing toxins that produce oxidative stress.

Shi GX, Liu CZ, Wang LP, Guan LP, Li SQ. Biomarkers of oxidative stress in vascular dementia patients. Can J Neurol Sci. 2012 Jan;39(1):65-8.

Wu ZC, Yu JT, Li Y, Tan L. Clusterin in Alzheimer’s disease. Adv Clin Chem. 2012;56:155-73.

Perry G, Phelix CF, Nunomura A, Colom LV, Castellani RJ, Petersen RB, Lee HG, Zhu X. Untangling the vascular web from Alzheimer disease and oxidative stress. Can J Neurol Sci. 2012 Jan;39(1):4.

Albarracin SL, Stab B, Casas Z, Sutachan JJ, Samudio I, Gonzalez J, Gonzalo L, Capani F, Morales L, Barreto GE. Effects of natural antioxidants in neurodegenerative disease. Nutr Neurosci. 2012 Jan;15(1):1-9.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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