Japanese researchers are jumping for joy at the Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science. They have discovered a nutrient not suspected to be involved in brain function actually has a role in brain function – and most likely the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers knew these facts:
• Vitamin A is an antioxidant.
• The brain needs antioxidants to decrease oxidation.
• An individual with Alzheimer’s disease shows amyloid B-protein deposits in the brain.
• Vitamin A and beta-carotene levels are lower in Alzheimer’s patients.
• In test tube studies, vitamin A inhibits the formation of the B-amyloid fibrils found in Alzheimer’s disease
• In mouse studies, when vitamin A was injected into the abdomen, there were less deposits of B-amyloid fibrils.
The Japanese researchers then showed that vitamin A and beta-carotene inhibited the oligomerization of these B-amyloid fibrils. Oligomerization is the connecting of smaller congregations of these fibrils together to make up an entire sheet of them, called an amyloid plaque. The more amyloid plaques in the brain, the worse the Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the results occurred in the test tube, the researchers have a gut feeling that vitamin A and beta-carotene could be used as Alzheimer’s disease supplements in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
What’s unusual about this research is that usually vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ 10 and selenium are the customary supplemental vitamins researched in brain function research. Vitamin A has been left out of the picture. However, this research shows us that we need to consider all the antioxidant vitamins and when we do, we can potentially gain greater response from all our work.