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Brussels Sprouts Could Help Tackle Alzheimer's Disease
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Brussels Sprouts Could Help Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

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Highlights
  • A pill for Alzheimer’s is on its way - thanks to the vitamin A rich Brussels sprouts.
  • Vitamin A is turned into retinoic acid which plays a key role in central nervous system (CNS).
  • Human trials could begin in the next two years.
  • The research team hopes to progress to therapeutics for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Brussels sprouts contain a nutrient which helps combat neurological disorders including dementia. In the human body, vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid which interacts with receptors and plays a key role in the central nervous system.

Vitamin A is important for proper eye, brain function and embryo development.

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In adult human brain, retinoic acid is found to play a more focused role and there are suggestions that it could affect degenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Professor Peter McCaffery, of the University of Aberdeen, explained: 'When we eat Brussels sprouts it increases the amount of this acid in the brain.'We are not saying doubling your portion of sprouts over Christmas will stop you getting Alzheimer's. That would be the wrong message.
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Research team from the Universities of Durham and Aberdeen are in the process of creating synthetic versions of retinoic acid that interact with the body's natural receptors in the brain in an even more powerful way than the regular type.

The evidence is, it will boost the number of neurons and the connections between them. With the cost of drug discovery rising, the method is also used to screen novel synthetic compounds making the process more efficient.

The research team is set to begin a £250,000 two year project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Dementia Facts
  • Dementia itself is not a disease - but its an umbrella term used to describe symptoms caused by diseases such as memory loss, confusion. Alzheimer's is the most common cause.
  • Dementia is more than just memory loss.
  • It has bigger impact on women - a woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is 1 in 6 compared to 1 in 11 for a man.
  • It is a global issue.
  • There are no treatments to stop diseases that cause dementia.
Alzheimer's disease - Facts and Statistics
  • 44 million people across the globe are affected with Alzheimer's disease and this may double up to nearly 76 million by 2030.
  • It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease.
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are small, round and bright colored belonging to the cruciferous vegetable family. They look like tiny cabbages, but milder in flavor. Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber content.

Brussels Sprouts Raw - Nutritional Information
  • Rank high in antioxidant content.
  • Help support the immune system, blood, bone health.
  • Rich source of vitamin C and K.
  • Low in calories and help you maintain a healthy weight.
References
  1. Dementia Facts - ( http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/about-dementia/facts-stats/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-dementia/)
  2. Brussels Sprouts - General Information - (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000725.htm)
Source: Medindia

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