Alzheimer's sufferers, and those who want to increase their chances of avoiding it, should start drinking green tea, and foods rich in ferulic acid (FA)—such as carrots, tomatoes, rice, wheat and oats—straight away, researchers say.
Although animal study results don't always translate to humans, the finding does suggest that a holistic approach, that includes a good diet and plant-based supplements, could protect against, and even reverse, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, researchers from the University of Southern California say.
"You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today," said lead researcher Terrence Town. The disease affects around 5.7 million Americans, for whom there is no cure.
FA-rich foods, and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) compounds in green tea, helped restore full working memory in just three months of the mice given the diet, the researchers discovered. They had been given 30 mg per kilogram of body weight, a dose that's well tolerated by people and easily consumed as part of a healthy, plant-based diet, they say.
The researchers think the compounds work by preventing proteins from breaking up into amyloid beta that are seen in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers. The compounds also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.