By Ralph Sanchez, MTCM, CNS, D.Hom.
New research published Oct. 13 by the journal Neurobiology of Aging revealed that the free radicals produced during oxidative stress bind to a protein receptor in the brain designated as “the Thromboxane Receptor A2 (TP)”. The study, “Modulation of AD Neuropathology and Memory Impairments by the Isoprostane F2α Is Mediated by the Thromboxane Receptor” demonstrated that oxygen free radicals actually bind to TP, and transmit signals to neuronal cells to increase the production of amyloid beta, and Neurofibrillary Tangles (abnormal phosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau), the two major pathological lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease. See illustration just below.
The study of plant and fruit polyphenols, a rich source of dietary antioxidants, represents one of the most promising areas of research in the field of anti-aging, and the prevention of degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Recent and ongoing research indicates that polyphenols present in berries and other fruits and vegetables provide protective and supportive nourishment to critical structures (i.e. hippocampus) in the brain responsible for learning, and memory formation and retention.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a naturally occurring nutrient found in many foods and available in supplemental form, is also synthesized in humans where it serves in energy metabolism and as a vital antioxidant. ALA is a unique antioxidant in that it is both water and fat-soluble, which enables ALA to confer its antioxidant benefits to all the cells and cell structures of the body. Another important characteristic of ALA is that it is part of the antioxidant team that includes vitamin E, C, coenzyme Q10 and glutathione. ALA regenerates theses antioxidants as they are metabolized in their protective antioxidative roles.