The Liver as a Source of Alzheimer’s Plaque

April 19, 2011 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 The Liver as a Source of Alzheimer’s Plaque
Cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s are associated with an abnormal accumulation of amyloid beta protein fragments that form plaque in the brain. Amyloid beta is made in your brain and taken down as part of normal function. It is well understood that excessive brain inflammation can lead to excessive amyloid beta production. A new study shines another light on this issue, proving that excess amyloid beta can also be produced by your liver1 and travel to your brain, contributing to the problem.

The researchers found that gene signaling on membranes of liver cells trigger the production of amyloid beta as well as its accumulation in the brain. When they used drugs to block the gene activity in the liver, then amyloid beta production was reduced and did not accumulate in the brain. The researchers believe their results are highly relevant to humans. It is likely that adverse gene activation in the liver is in response to inflammation. This means that environmental toxicity, digestive toxicity (excess LPS from bacterial imbalance), and excess body weight would all be key factors to protect against this type of adverse gene activation.

The key point of this study is that it is not just brain inflammation that is causing the problem, it is also the liver that plays a key role in brain health. The liver and brain are the two fattiest organs by dry body weight. Most nutrients that protect the brain also protect the liver – interesting.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Beta Amyloid Accumulation and the Liver  J Neurosci Res.   Sutcliffe JG, Hedlund PB, Thomas EA, Bloom FE, Hilbush BS.

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