August 3, 2000
Antioxidants Vs. Alzheimer's
Remembering your supplements may be more important
than ever. Research indicates that antioxidants like vitamins A, C and
E, and selenium may play a role in preventing or lessening the impact of
Alzheimer's disease, a widespread cause of declining intellectual
function among the aged.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(Vol 71, 2/00), neuron damage and brain lesions typical among Alzheimer's
victims are associated with attacks by free radicals - highly reactive
oxygen molecules that destroy cellular structures. In addition, DNA
damage, protein oxidation, cell membrane destruction and heavy metal
pollution have been linked to the abnormal production of free radicals in
individuals suffering from Alzheimer's.
Many antioxidants - scavenger molecules that defuse
free radical damage - show promising results in lowering the risk of
Alzheimer's, say these researchers. Though the precise cause of AD is
unknown, many studies indicate the disease may be at least partially due
to antioxidant deficiencies. Possibly helpful antioxidant free radical
scavengers include vitamin E and Ginkgo biloba.