Alzheimer's disease

Research: Could Alzheimer’s Disease Be Foodborne?

New research shows that there is a link between particular types of metals and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. What’s intriguing is that these metals are very common in the foods we eat today, and therefore, put us at a higher risk of developing these neurological diseases.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive brain disease, characterized by loss of memory, ability to reason and personality changes. Apart from being a public health problem, this disorder is one of the most common forms of dementia that requires timely recognition and treatment.

AD’s symptoms occur gradually, over a period of several years. Also, they vary from person to person. The most common and firstly visible symptom is the forgetfulness of recent events, with a relative preservation of the long-term memory. Because of the gradual and inconspicuous onset of the disease, at the very beginning, it’s often attributed to the forgetfulness of old age. This, of course, is a big mistake. Namely, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder in which the cognitive impairments and psychological changes occur over time, and significantly affect the patient’s autonomy.

Early cognitive symptoms are short-term memory loss and difficult decision-making. Over time, the patients become disoriented in time and space (they lose track of the day, date or year, and can no longer find their way home). In later stages, the patients cannot even recognize close people, and have difficulty speaking and understanding.

Alzheimer patients develop behavioral changes, and often suffer from psychological disorders like aggression, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

Also, there are certain functional changes, which come as a consequence of the cognitive impairments and psychiatric changes. There is a whole series of difficulties in performing the daily activities. Some of those are problems in money handling, personal hygiene, dressing, continence, etc. Due to this, the patients become more dependent on other people’s help. Depending on the patient’s functionality, we can monitor the progression of the disease through 3 stages: mild, moderate and advanced. In the advanced stage of the illness, the patient is fully tied to a bed and dependent on others.

Could Alzheimer’s Disease Be Foodborne?

Aluminum

Recent research shows that higher amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people who suffer from memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s still arguable whether the metal has already been present in the brain, or if it came from the substances used in the procedures to study it.

Nonetheless, it’s good for people to know not to exaggerate with aluminum consumption. This metal can be found in many different and household products, such as processed cheese, fast food, spinach, potatoes, tea, antacids, baking powder, cookware, aluminum foil, deodorants, cosmetic products, dyes, and the like. For example, some studies show that there’s an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease among people who use antacids and deodorants at the same time.

Fortunately, the aluminum from your cookware does not go into the food we eat. Therefore, you can reduce your risk of dementia just by limiting your intake of processed foods.

Alzheimer's disease

Zinc

Studies show that both, too much and too little zinc can be a cause of memory loss. High amounts of this metal can cause the formation of clumps in the brain, similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease. Foods rich in zinc include lamb, beef, chicken, pork, oysters, mushrooms, squash seeds, nuts, beans, and dark chocolate.

Knowing this, it may be confusing whether it’s safe to eat zinc-rich food. Well now, moderation is the key, right?

Food Toxins Related To Alzheimer’s Disease

Some foods are contaminated with toxins, which are counted responsible for the outbreak of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, we have the case of contamination of mussels with domoic acid. This acid is a neurotoxin that enhances the action of glutamate, a substance that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Reference:
Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease – Symptoms and causes
Controversial Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors

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