(NaturalNews) A 10-year study named the Kame Project found Alzheimer's risk 76 percent lower among those who drank juices more than three times a week. As reported by Susan Sharma, MD, in "Fruit Lowers Risk," April 27-May 3, 2008, in Dementia Weekly, the skins of fruit and vegetables are high in phenols, chemicals that "mop up" free radicals believed to cause the damage seen in Alzheimer's.
Researchers followed approximately 2,000 Japanese Americans in Hiroshima, Japan; Oahu, Hawaii; and Seattle for 10 years. Participants underwent a physical examination beginning in 1992, and their mental function was tested every two years.
Those who drank juice three or more times per week experienced a 76 percent reduced risk for Alzheimer's. Those who drank juice once or twice a week experienced a 16 percent reduced risk. These results suggested to researchers that polyphenols, a type of anti-oxidant, might have a protective effect on the brain, preventing or reducing dementia or Alzheimer's.
Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and lead author of the report, attributed the effect to polyphenols rather than the general antioxidants in fruit juices. Polyphenols are a particularly strong antioxidant "found in the outer sections of fruits and vegetables, only in the peel or skin. When you process the whole fruit, they go into the juice," Dai said.
Another article by Ann Julian, also published in Dementia Weekly, and titled "The Alzheimer's Diet," discusses appropriate diet for slowing the disease. While there is disagreement about the efficacy of antioxidants found in vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, green tea and gingko biloba, drinking fruit and vegetable juice three or more times a week has been shown, in a new study, to not only reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, but also to slow the early stages of the disease. Again, this is attributed to polyphenols.
While more research is needed, high risk factors for the onset of Alzheimer's disease are high fat and high calorie diets, alcohol, salt and refined carbohydrates. The three recommendations for reducing incidence are: increasing fruit and vegetable juice consumption "as much as possible" or to at least two or three times per week, increasing vitamins, minerals and fluids, and increasing fiber to reduce constipation.