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Can Beets Promote Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Apr 6, 2018 by Dennis Patouhas

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a condition that causes sufferers to suffer damage to their memory and cognitive functions. It is a progressive condition, meaning it worsens as time goes on. There is no cure for AD, nor is the exact cause of the disease known. For that reason, research is ongoing in hopes of answering some of the many questions people have about this devastating disease, including how to prevent it. New research suggests a surprising new possibility for AD prevention—beets.

The Beet Study

AD is characterized by the build-up of plaques in the brain. The plaques are made up of a kind of protein called beta-amyloid. The plaques are part of what damages brain cells, interfering with the cells’ ability to communicate. Researchers have looked at how a substance commonly found in beets, called betanin, interacts with beta amyloid. 

The researchers were inspired by a study that indicated drinking beet juice before engaging in aerobic exercise made the brain appear younger. It had this affect because it allowed for better blood flow to the brain and assisted with the circulation of oxygen.

For their study, the researchers wanted to find out if betanin could disrupt the build up of plaques and prevent damage to the brain. Part of the process of creating plaques has to do with oxidation. The researchers conducted several experiments and found that when they introduced betanin, oxidation was decreased by up to 90 percent. The researchers say that their study shows that betanin may be able to inhibit some of the processes that lead to AD. 

Other Suggestions for Alzheimer’s Prevention

So, does that mean you should run out and stock up on beets for your aging relative? Well, no. The research is early, and much more is needed to determine how, or even if, betanin can be used to help with AD. However, the fact that research is ongoing and new information is constantly being discovered is a positive step in the fight against AD. 

While beets may not be the answer to preventing AD, there may be some lifestyle changes that could help, such as:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Remaining socially involved.
  • Following a healthy diet.
  • Keeping the brain active.
  • Sleeping well.
  • Managing stress.

One way you can help your aging relative to take steps to prevent AD is with home care. A home care provider can help with all of the steps listed above. A home care provider can drive the senior to exercise classes or monitor exercise at home to ensure safety. Home care can assist older adults to stay socially engaged by helping them to get out of the house to do things like volunteer, visit friends, or attend social gatherings. They can cook healthy foods and offer mind-stimulating activities, such as games, puzzles, and reading. Home care can also help older adults feel less stressed because they know that someone will be there to help when they need it.

Sources

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321276.php
https://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/preventing-alzheimers-disease.htm
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447

If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Greenwich, CT, please contact the caring staff at Comfort Keepers of Greenwich, CT. Call today: (203) 266-1227.

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