Thursday, July 9, 2009

The lifestyle to beat Alzheimer's

by Peta Bee

Cup of coffee

Coffee drinkers will be clinking mugs in a toast to new research suggesting that just two strong cups of the black stuff a day can reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease. Dr Gary Arendash of the University of Florida showed that coffee not only helped to reverse symptoms in mice but also staved off production in the brain of abnormal protein plaques, which are the hallmark of Alzheimer's.

In the UK the Alzheimer's Society is anxious not to suggest that everyone develop a caffeine habit but says that if further research confirms its benefits, coffee could become part of a lifestyle prevention plan for the disease.

So what else could be in the armoury? Researchers at Columbia University in New York recently found that a Mediterranean-style diet high in fish oil and vegetables prevented people with mild memory loss from getting full-blown dementia, and also seemed to prevent memory decline in the general population. Blueberries, kale and broccoli seem particularly helpful.

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