Strong immune system found to be key defense against Alzheimer's disease

Saturday, August 18, 2012 by: John Phillip
Tags: immune system, Alzheimer''s disease, prevention

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(NaturalNews) As the number of people suffering from the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, continues to rise at a staggering pace, researchers increasingly look at natural compounds and lifestyle changes to halt the progression of this horrific illness. Past studies have identified grape seed extract, curcumin, resveratrol and vitamin D among a host of other substances that cross the blood-brain barrier to positively impact brain health and shield against Alzheimer's disease.

A new study from researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at Exeter's University in the UK collaborated with a team from the National Institute on Aging in the USA to show that our own innate immune system plays a critical role in removing beta-amyloid, the main substance that causes Alzheimer's in the brain. The study demonstrates how circulating inflammatory markers in the blood may play an important role in cognitive impairment at older ages.

Maintaining a strong immune response may help prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease

Researchers tested blood samples from nearly 700 people to screen expression levels of thousands of genes that may possibly be involved in directing the genesis and progression of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. They discovered that the best marker associated with memory in people was a gene called CCR2, which showed immune system activity against beta-amyloid. The scientists used the 'Mini-Mental State Examination' test to measure memory and other cognitive functions.

Prior studies have shown that memory and function in individuals susceptible to Alzheimer's disease improved when researchers augmented the CCR2-activated part of the immune system in the blood. The researchers commented "It may be that CCR2-associated immunity could be strengthened in humans to slow Alzheimer's disease... Identification of a key player in the interface between immune function and cognitive ability may help us to gain a better understanding of the disease processes involved in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders."

The gastrointestinal tract is a prominent part of our immune system, as beneficial gut bacteria provide 70 to 80 percent of our front-line defenses against invading pathogens. Health-conscious individuals understand that avoiding sugar and highly processed refined foods is critical to establish optimal digestive health and improve immune response. Many people also use digestive enzymes with meals to ensure nutrient breakdown and supplement with probiotics to encourage the proper balance of healthy bacteria. These simple positive lifestyle choices may provide an important piece of the puzzle to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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