The neuropathologic features of Alzheimer’s Disease include amyloid beta (A-beta) plaques, an abnormal accumulation of A-beta protein outside neuronal cells, and neurofibrillary tangles within the cells. Numerous animal and laboratory studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease involves oxidative and inflammatory processes, although it is not known whether these processes are a cause or effect of the disease or both. The ultimate result, however, is disruption of neuronal cell functioning and signaling, leading to neuronal cell death. A research is ongoing and potentially very exciting which shows that there may be a link with inflammation and the buildup of amyloid plaque on the brain that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Best evidence of disease prevention involves the antioxidant nutrients, vitamins E and C.
The strongest evidence for antioxidant protection against Alzheimer’s disease rests with high food intake of vitamin E. The richest food sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, margarine, nuts (especially almonds), and seeds (especially sunflower seeds). Moderate amounts of vitamin E are found in whole grains, egg yolk, and a limited number of vegetables (eg, collard greens) and fruits (eg, avocados, apples, melon). Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, 100% whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and lean protein. Eating three handfuls of vegetables per day and two handfuls of fruits twice a day is a great start. In addition, 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two 3-ounce servings of fish, such as salmon, per week, would be wonderful.