Aug 18, 2011

Are Oranges the Cure for Alzheimer's?

As I read this newly released research I thought to myself, I'm set.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Is this the Cure for
Alzheimer's disease?
Let me start by saying, maybe you should consider moving to Florida. Oranges are cheap here.

Just today, I bought five oranges for $1.50. Thirty cents each. They are kinda small at this time of year, and to be honest I am not even sure they are Florida oranges. At this time of year they could be from South Africa.

I'll try to remember (chuckle here) to ask Bob at the Boyz where the oranges are coming from this time of year. Don't laugh to hard.

Last year, I got all excited when I saw the word Mineola on the sticker of the apple I was eating. I thought wow, this apple is from Long Island, New York. Then I looked closer and it was from Chile.

If you wonder how I get some of my wild and crazy caregiver ideas the above probably helps explain.

Why else would I believe that a toy repeat parrot is the greatest Alzheimer's caregiver tool in the world. I'll try to remember to tape Harvey saying " go to hell". I'll let you figure out what is funnier. Harvey saying "go to hell" or Dotty telling Harvey I am a bad influence on him.

Back to oranges.

The research below indicates that vitamin C might dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. Nice.

I eat an orange almost every day. No, I don't drink the juice often. I prefer tomato or vegetable juice, more antioxidant bang. Delicious.

Since I am all over the place here, and before I send you down to read the research, I might as well add that for dinner tonight Dotty and I had chicken orzo soup and crab cakes. Delicious. We had homemade cupcakes for dessert -- white cake, chocolate top.

If you are still wondering why I said, "I'm set", here is the reason. I figure while I am eating all these oranges I might be reducing the amyloid plaques in my brain. Pleasant thought.

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Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at Lund University have discovered a new function for vitamin C. Treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer's disease. The research findings are now being presented in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The brains of people with Alzheimer's disease contain lumps of so-called amyloid plaques which consist of misfolded protein aggregates. They cause nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attacked are the ones in the brain's memory centre.

"When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved. Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques", says Katrin Mani, reader in Molecular Medicine at Lund University.

"Another interesting finding is that the useful vitamin C does not need to come from fresh fruit. In our experiments, we show that the vitamin C can also be absorbed in larger quantities in the form of dehydroascorbic acid from juice that has been kept overnight in a refrigerator, for example".

There is at present no treatment that cures Alzheimer's disease, but the research is aimed at treatments and methods to delay and alleviate the progression of the disease by addressing the symptoms.

That antioxidants such as vitamin C have a protective effect against a number of diseases, from the common cold to heart attacks and dementia, has long been a current focus of research.

"The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer's and the possibilities offered by vitamin C", says Katrin Mani.


Suppression of amyloid beta A11-immunoreactivity by vitamin C: possible role of heparan sulfate oligosaccharides derived from glypican-1 by ascorbate-induced, NO-catalyzed degradation.

Fang Cheng, Roberto Cappai, G.D. Ciccotosto, Gabriel Svensson, Gerd Multhaup, Lars-Åke Fransson and Katrin Mani. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286, 27559-27572, 2011.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,800 articles with more than 602,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room