—A Special Report from Victor Marchione, MD
With Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a person can experience a progressive loss of memory, a decline in cognitive function, behavioral changes, and a loss of ability to carry out daily activities. It is a very costly disease, a frightening one for all involved, and one that takes too large a toll on society.
Drugs to treat it can come with side effects, and are only put into use once AD is diagnosed, which can be long after cognitive decline has started. Many researchers believe that nutrition is extremely important, especially as we age. Certain nutrients have been proven to help prevent AD, as well as slow it down.
Apple juice has been looked at in the past. Preliminary studies in the lab and in mice have found that apple juice could reduce damage to the central nervous system, suppress symptoms of AD, and improve mental performance. A new study has analyzed what happens to actual AD patients who consume apple juice. Can such a simple beverage affect such a complicated illness?
In short, the study found that apple juice could calm the declining moods that are omnipresent in moderate-to-severe AD. In the study, AD patients consumed two four-ounce glasses of apple juice a day for one month. Their caregivers reported the effects. There was no change in the rating of the disease or their day-to-day abilities. But what did change were the behavioral and psychotic symptoms associated with their dementia. There was approximately 27% improvement, mostly in anxiety, agitation and delusion.
Apple juice! While drug treatments can provide temporary reduction in AD symptoms, they’re expensive and cannot prevent the ultimate decline in cognitive and behavioral function. That’s why researchers considered it important to discover any possible nutritional interventions.
The effect of apple juice was “modest” yet statistically significant. This almost ensures that the beverage will be studied in a larger, well-designed trial. The study also follows up on previous evidence that found that nutritional measures, such as taking vitamins, could even be effective in the late stages of AD.
If AD is a part of your life, now you know that there’s an option for a better life found in your supermarket.