Green Tea, Resveratrol, Curcumin and CDP-Choline Reduce Amyloid Plaque in Alzheimer’s disease Prevention Model
Source: Tufts University Research, June 2022 (Free Radical Biology and Medicine Journal)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (November 15, 2022)
A 2022 report from Tufts University provided more encouraging news about preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more than 6 million Americans, and its incidence is expected to rise exponentially in the coming decades. As the Tufts University Researchers indicated, the cause of the disease in its most common form, which is not genetically based, is not well understood. This makes treatment difficult, but progress is being made.
Some of the progress relates to the study they published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine in June 2022. In an experimental study, they tested 21 different compounds in Alzheimer’s-afflicted brain cells in the lab. They found that four natural compounds could reduce the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, which is a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Most experts agree that preventing the build-up of amyloid plaque is a key strategy to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and to date, there are no drugs that can do that effectively.
However, these researchers showed that the polyphenols or catechins (such as EGCG) found in green tea, as well as the flavonoid resveratrol (found in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, pistachios, and cocoa), blocked the formation of beta-amyloid plaque in Alzheimer’s-affected brain cells. They also found that curcumin, found in turmeric, as well as the supplement CDP-choline which is known to enhance memory performance, also inhibited the synthesis of beta-amyloid plaque in these brain cells. The type 2 diabetic drug known as Metformin also showed a similar effect. As the researchers mentioned, some of these compounds are more bioavailable than others and some cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively than others.
As such, my recommendation is to drink 3-5 cups of green tea daily (and/or take a supplement containing at least 300 mg of green tea catechins daily). A study in the journal Molecules in 2020 showed that a dosage in this range improved working memory in 50-69 subjects in a human 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. I would also encourage you to eat foods that contain resveratrol, which I outlined previously, and after the age of 50-55 take a supplement that contains CDP-choline, along with other memory support agents (Phosphatidylserine, Huperzine A, and Bacopa monnieri). Adding the spice turmeric to your food preparation is also advisable, but the bioavailability of curcumin is quite poor. As such, I take a combination supplement each day that contains curcumin, Boswellia, white willow extract, and ginger. Together these natural agents help to prevent inflammation and block some key steps in cancer development, and curcumin and Boswellia cross the blood-brain barrier exerting a multitude of neuroprotective effects. When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, research continues to point to lifestyle medicine as a key way to help reduce the risk. The regular ingestion of green tea catechins, resveratrol, curcumin, and CDP-choline are nutrients you should strongly consider, as part of your Alzheimer’s disease prevention program in my view.
I have included the references for the Tufts University study and the green tea catechin study in the text below.
1. Silveira I.A. et al. Screening neuroprotective compounds in herpes-induced Alzheimer’s disease cell and 3D tissue models. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2022; 186:76-92 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584922001770?via%3Dihub
2. Baba Y et al. Effect of daily intake of green tea catechins on cognitive function in middle-aged and older subjects: A randomized, placebo-controlled study. Molecules. 2020; 25(18): 4265. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7570631/
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.