Want to know how to avoid dementia? Just change your diet. Once again, science is substantiating what many of us already know—that diet can prevent disease, and that fruits and vegetables provide a far reaching range of benefits—specifically, that a group of compounds within produce could help protect people from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
How to Avoid Dementia with Food
Dr. Robert Williams of Kings College in London spoke at the British Pharmacological Society’s Summer Meeting a few years ago highlighting the potential benefits of flavonoids found in vegetables, fruits and red wine. The research shows how to avoid dementia and related diseases through simple dietary changes, with these flavonoids being able delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
He says his own research has countered many previously held beliefs that such antioxidants were broken down by the body before they could have any beneficial effect on the brain. Also, some clinical trials on other antioxidants showed little benefits on dementia symptoms or prevention, further boosting skepticism.
He says, however, that flavonoids don’t only act as antioxidants, but “exert their biological effects through other mechanisms,” according to Phys.org. Limited studies looking at the effects of green tea flavonoids and those found in grapes can potentially reduce brain pathology and even possibly improve cognition.
Dr. Williams’ research has focused on a specific flavonoid, known as epicatechin.
“We have found that epicatechin protects brain cells from damage but through a mechanism unrelated to its antioxidant activity and shown in laboratory tests that it can also reduce some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease pathology…This is interesting because epicatechin and its breakdown products are measurable in the bloodstream of humans for a number of hours after ingestion and it is one of the relatively few flavonoids known to access the brain suggesting it has the potential to be bioactive in humans.”
His research is admittedly limited at this time and Dr. Williams says that further research is needed to better know what specifically is causing the protective effect.
“The challenge now is to identify the single flavonoid or combination of flavonoids that exert the most positive effects and to define the mechanisms of action and optimal quantity required before embarking on clinical trials to treat their effectiveness in dementia.”
This isn’t the only research to suggest that Alzheimer’s and diet could be linked, or at least that diet could have positive effects on the symptoms of dementia. Many individuals have found great improvement by using coconut oil for Alzheimer’s and dementia.