Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville conducted an epidemiological study of 1,800 Japanese-American seniors in Seattle over a period of 10 years, and found that those who drank juice three or more times per week were 76 percent less likely to develop the debilitating neurological disease than those who drank one serving or less a week.
"Fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease," says Qi Dai, the study's lead author.
The mechanism of protection is likely the high concentration of polyphenols -- strong, organic antioxidants sometimes responsible for a plant's color -- found in fruit and vegetable juices, Dai says.
Because 99 percent of polyphenols are found in the skins of fruits and vegetables, only juices pressed from whole, fresh vegetables and fruits would have powerful anti-Alzheimer's properties, according to Dai. Popular sugar-laden juices with low juice content would not have the same protective effects as fresh, whole-fruit or -vegetable juices.
"This research once again demonstrates that food is the best medicine," said Mike Adams, author of The Seven Laws of Nutrition. "Fresh juice from fruits, vegetables and nuts contains protective medicine more powerful than any pharmaceutical," Adams says, "and people who drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices daily are far healthier than those who don't, exhibiting far lower rates of cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes and many other health conditions."
Dr. Jack Diamond, scientific director at the Alzheimer's Society of Canada, says the results of Dai's study could send Alzheimer's research in a different direction.