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Drinking Juice May Prevent Alzheimers

Want to Prevent Alzheimer's? Drink Your Juice!

A large recent study by Dr. Qi Dai and colleagues, published in the American Journal of Medicine, indicates that participants who drank three or more servings of fruit or vegetable juice per week had a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to those who drank juices less than once a week. Subjects drinking juice once or twice per week acheived a 16 percent reduction.

The study lasted ten years, and the results were controlled for possible confounding factors such as smoking, fat intake, and physical activity. The subjects were older Japanese individuals living in the Seattle, WA area. They were chosen because the native Japanese population has a low incidence of Alzheimer's disease, while Japanese living in the USA have a higher rate, similar to Americans. This lead the researchers to believe that environmental factors like diet could be a factor.

In the past, scientists had suspected that antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C and E and Beta-carotene would provide protection against Alzheimer's, but recent studies have not borne this out. So the researchers in this recent study suspect that the protective role is being played by antioxidant chemicals known as polyphenols present in juices, teas and wines. The best known of these is resveratrol, which is abundant in the skin of red grapes and the wine made from them.

Unfortunately, the researchers did not collect information as to the effectiveness of different types of juices, and Dr. Dai cautioned the public not to jump to conclusions regarding juice's effectiveness against the onset of Alzheimer's disease. He noted that other dietary interventions have shown promise in the past, only to disappoint when tested by clinical trial.

Still, if you like juice, there can be no harm in being sure to get three or four servings a week. Be careful of the "too much of a good thing" syndrome, though, as most juice is high in calories and sugars, so overconsumption could lead to weight gain or blood sugar problems.

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