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Possible Treatment Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Using Chicory

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  • Alzheimer's disease is characterized by memory impairment, neuroinflammation and accumulation of β-amyloid peptides (amyloidogenesis).
  • Chicoric acid (CA) is a nutraceutical that has powerful antioxidant and antiobesity activities.
  • It has shown to reduce memory impairment and amyloidogenesis associated with Alzheimer's disease

Possible Treatment Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Using Chicory

Chicoric acid, a component of chicory, may help reduce memory impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease, and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases.

Scientists used mice to show the effects of chicoric acid.


"Chicoric acid, a nutraceutical component of chicory, also exists extensively in Echinacea purpurea, lettuce, dandelion, and other edible plants and vegetables," said Xuebo Liu, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work at the College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China.

Chicoric acid (CA) is a natural phenolic acid extracted from chicory and the echinacea plant (Echinacea purpurea). It has been regarded as a nutraceutical. It has powerful antioxidant and antiobesity activities.

Nutraceuticals is a term used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.

They can be used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder. It is a type of dementia that slowly destroys memory, behavior and thinking skills.

It is characterized by chronic inflammation and plaque formation. The plaques are clusters of amyloid precursor proteins called β-amyloid peptides. The formation of plaques are refered to as amyloidogenesis.

The number of American's living with Alzheimer's disease in 2016 was approximately 5.4 million.

Among the 5.4 million with Alzheimer's, an estimated 5.2 million people are aged 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 years.

One in nine people aged 65 and older has Alzheimer's disease and one in three aged 65 and older die due to ALzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

These numbers are expected to rise in coming years and by 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 13.8 million.


Researchers used three groups of mice to detect the inhibitory effects of chicoric acid (CA) on inflammation, amyloidogenesis and memory impairment:
  • a control group
  • a group that received lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection
  • another group that received both LPS and chicoric acid (CA)
Learning and memory capabilities in the mice were evaluated four hours after LPS injection using behavioral tests.

They found that the LPS-treated mice had memory impairment and took a longer time to find the platform compared to the control group.

In the group that was supplemented with CA the time was decreased. This was because CA prevented LPS-induced memory impairment and neuronal loss.

The results also showed that CA prevented LPS-induced increase in β-amyloid peptide accumulation.

"Chicoric acid mitigated lipopolysaccharide-induced amyloidogenesis and memory impairment via inhibiting NFκB signal pathway, suggesting that chicoric acid supplementation might be a plausible therapeutic intervention for neuroinflammation-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease." Liu added.

"These are provocative findings, but with the caveat that the LPS regime is not likely a model of long-term memory impairment," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.

The possibility remains that chicoric acid could prove to be a beneficial human nutraceutical for overall memory acuity.

The findings are published in The FASEB Journal.

  1. What are Nutraceuticals? - (http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Nutraceuticals.aspx)
  2. What Is Alzheimer's? - (http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp)
  3. 2016 ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE FACTS AND FIGURES - (http://www.alz.org/facts/)
  4. Xuebo Liu et al. Chicoric acid supplementation prevents systemic inflammation-induced memory impairment and amyloidogenesis via inhibition of NF-κB. The FASEB Journal ; (2016) doi:10.1096/fj.201601071Rfj.201601071R

Source: Medindia

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