Thursday, December 9, 2010

Antioxidants May Reduce Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Previous studies have reported that high levels of homocysteine, a pro-inflammatory protein component, are associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

In an effort to determine if antioxidants reduced the inflammation associated with such high homocysteine levels, J.M. Morillas-Ruiz, from Catholic University of San Antonio (Spain), and colleagues enrolled 100 women to participate in a double-blind controlled clinical trial.

Fifty-two of the women were considered generally healthy (no Alzheimer’s) and served as the control group, while the other 48 were diagnosed with Alzeimer’s disease (24 women with early-onset and 24 with moderate Alzheimer’s).

Each of the women was randomly assigned to one of two interventions: Drink an antioxidant beverage rich in polyphenols, or receive a placebo drink, for the eight-month long study. The antioxidant beverage was formulated using apple and lemon concentrate juice, apple and green tea extracts, and vitamins B and C.

The team found that those women who consumed the antioxidant-rich drink experienced an attenuation of homocysteine increase, as compared to the placebo group.

As well, in the subjects with moderate Alzeimer’s disease, the antioxidant beverage was associated with lower average homocysteine level, as compared to the placebo group. The researchers conclude that: “The regular ingestion of polyphenols contained in an antioxidant beverage may decrease [total homocysteine] plasmatic concentrations in Alzheimer's patients.”


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