Red Meat, Iron Linked to Alzheimer’s

August 23, 2013 | By Lorenzo Mejia

It’s not news that red meat may give rise to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other ailments.  Recent information presented in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggest that red meat may also lead to Alzheimer’s.

Investigators at UCLA found that an accumulation of iron may raise the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.   Iron is abundant in red meat and it critical for proper cell functioning.  However, an excess of iron leads to oxidation damage.  The brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidant damage, so consumption of red meat may likely raise one’s chances of developing AD.

A great deal of research has examined the development of two proteins known as hallmarks of Alzheimer’s:  tau and beta-amyloid.  The UCLA team believes, however, believes that the onset of the disease may occur further “upstream.”  Using MRI scans, the researchers observed a correlation between the amount of iron in the cells and the degree of brain damage from Alzheimer’s.

The quick takeaway should come as no surprise.  What we eat matters.   The researchers noted that fruits and vegetables, which are rich in anti-oxidants, offer a great natural defense against excess oxidation.

 

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