London: New research in the UK has claimed a major breakthrough in the treatment of the debilitating brain disease Alzheimers by treating it with a diet rich in anti-oxidants, a combination of nutrients which prevents and even reverses brain cell damage.
The research has discovered that the progression of the disease which causes degeneration of the medial temporal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for memory and decision-making, can be prevented and even halted, by a diet rich in certain nutrients including anti-oxidants.
Patrick Holford, an internationallyrenowned nutritionist, told world medical experts at the London Anti-Ageing Conference that he had arrested the progression of Alzheimers in a number of patients and completely restored the memory of others with lesser conditions such as poor memory and concentration.
Holford, says his research has found a direct link with Alzheimers to high levels of homocysteine in the blood. High levels double the risk of Alzheimers, he says. This amino acid, is already linked to coronary heart disease. The nutrients consumed by the patients reduced levels of this dangerous substance by up to 74% in eight weeks.
Scientists already know that there is a correlation between the build up of amyloid plaques a protein that clogs up the brain, killing the cells, but this can only be detected after death. In tests on 25 patients with Alzheimers raised levels of homocysteine was detected with a simple blood test.
Holford gave his patients a cocktail of homocysteine-reducing anti-oxidants including Vitamins C & E, B6,2, Choline, Phosphatidyl serine, DMAE (found in sardine and salmon), folate and zinc.
One patient, a woman, who developed cognitive impairment which can led to full Alzhemiers, had the condition arrested by the change in diet and lifestyle. Another man not only had his poor memory restored but with the bonus of his libido.
We are completely denying the role of nutrients in this disease We only have to look to the animal world intelligent animals are those who eat the brains, organs and eggs of others while in the bird world it is the ones with strong beaks who are most intelligent who eat seeds, says Holford.
Since the brain is 60% fat, Holford says we should be eating a diet rich in Vitamin E, an oil soluable vitamin (liver and eggs), oily fish (sardines and salmon) and seeds (pumpkin, flax) which contain Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.
One of the signs that you may not be getting these vital brain nutrients, says, Holford, is dry skin.
Its bad news for your brain if you have dry skin and means that you are not getting enough of the right nutrients, he said.
He said that there was evidence to suggest that the damage to the brain begins can begin 40 years before the onset of Alzheimers and that mild cognitive impairment starts five years before full dementia.
In a recent TV experiment Holford, who runs the Bio Brain Centre in London, where he treats brain disorders, changed the disruptive behaviour of three schoolchildren by changing their diet.
The results of his findings will be unveiled in a new book, The Alzheimers Prevention Plan being published next month.
His recommendations to lower your H score include:
Eat less fatty meat, more fish and vegetable protein
Eat your greens
Have a clove of garlic every day
Dont add salt to your food
Cut back on tea and coffee
Limit your alcohol
Reduce your stress
Correct oestrogen deficiency
Supplement homocysteine lowering nutrients every day