Cinnamon May Help Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Saturday, June 01, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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The formation of plaque-coated brain tangles that lead to cognitive decline and eventually Alzheimer’s are a matter of public health urgency, considering the epidemic now confronting the aging baby boomer population. A new study shows that compounds in cinnamon can potently protect against the formation of these brain tangles.

Tau proteins are proteins that stabilize the microtubule structure in neurons. They become damaged during cognitive impairment and appear as part of the tangled mess characteristic of cognitive impairment.

The study uses advanced technology to show that components in cinnamon directly bind to the structure of tau proteins, protecting them from free radical damage and adverse changes that induce the formation of inappropriately chaotic tangles.

This mechanism of operation is very important, as it actually preserves the healthy and normal function of tau proteins, which is vital for normal neuron structure and function. 

One problem with Alzheimer’s drug treatment is that drugs that block the formation of tangles also block protein activity needed for nerve function. It is quite difficult to find drugs that can block tangles without also causing nerve injury.

Evidence of brain tangle formation is common in most people by age 35. The greater the degree of the problem, the more noticeable memory and cognitive issues are, eventually progressing to more noticeable impairment categorized as cognitive decline. 

Cinnamon is the latest nutrient shown to directly promote brain structure health, while inhibiting the formation of adverse tangles. Other nutrients in this category are grape seed extract, resveratrol, green tea, blueberries, carnosine, acetyl-l-carnitine, tocotrienol E, and silymarin.

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