Drinking juice may delay onset of Alzheimer's disease
April 4, 2007 (WLS) -- Drinking fruit or vegetable juice may be better for you than you think. New research shows it may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
You know it's good for your body but did you know drinking juice is also good for your mind?
"I didn't have any idea that there was any connection between orange juice and Alzheimer's," said Tosh Okamoto, Study participant.
Tosh Okamoto was part of a new study that found that connection.
Seattle researchers followed nearly 2,000 adults including Tosh for 10 years. They found drinking fruit or vegetable juice more than three times a week cuts the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 76 percent compared to drinking it less than once a week. And having juice once or twice a week reduced the risk by 16 percent.
"The theory is that the brain accumulates damage due to oxidation as we age, and if you can protect the brain from that damage you can protect the person from Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia," said Eric Larson, MD.
Antioxidants fight that process. And there are more in juice than in the actual fruit or vegetable.
"It's everything -- the core the outside, seeds, and everything is put into it," said Larson.
Good news for Tosh who has been drinking a glass of OJ every morning for as long as he can remember. "We've been married 57 years, so at least that," said Tosh Okamoto.
At age 80 he plans to continue -- so he can keep his body healthy and his mind sharp.
Researchers saw the protective benefits from any type of juice. The study also found there are more antioxidants in juice than in vitamin C and E supplements.
BACKGROUND: An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a glass of apple juice a day may keep Alzheimer's disease at bay. New research shows fruit juice consumption is linked to a reduction in the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease. Eric Larson, M.D., of Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, says other foods and drinks don't have the same protective benefits. "You don't see it even with green tea. We thought we would find something with green tea or with just consumption of fruits and vegetables in general," he said. "There was no strong association there."
ANTIOXIDANTS PROTECT THE BRAIN: According to Dr. Larson, juice is made using parts of the fruit with the highest concentration of natural antioxidants. "The theory is the brain accumulates damage due to oxidation as we age and if you can protect the brain from that damage, you can protect the person from Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia," he said.
In most cases, juice is produced using the core, the seeds and the skin -- parts of the fruit or vegetable people do not normally consume. The food is mashed together to create a concentrate. Juice is made in cold process, so nutrients aren't damaged by heat. Juice will usually have a defined level of purity based on percentage of fruit juice. Juice should not be confused with squash, which is usually an artificial juice that can be diluted with water.
PICKING YOUR JUICE: In theory, grape, apple and orange juices are very potent in antioxidants and could be the most effective at preventing Alzheimer's disease, according to Dr. Larson. In the study, those who did not drink fruit juice, but ate several servings of fruit per week, saw some benefit. However, those who drank juice saw the most benefit. So what's the key to picking the right juice? There are a few key things to look out for:
HOW MUCH TO DRINK: Study participants who drank juice once or twice a week reduced their Alzheimer's risk by 16 percent. Those who drank juice three times per week reduced their risk by 76 percent. Before you drink 10 glasses of orange juice each day, be aware there may be threshold for antioxidant consumption. Going above that amount may not necessarily bring benefits.
For More Information, Contact:
Group Health Center for Health Studies
3823 NE 95th
Seattle, WA 98115
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