A discouraging sign of the times: Alzheimer’s deaths jumped a whopping 220% in Los Angeles County between 1994 and 2003, according to public health officials. Compare that to a 30% increase in diabetes deaths — and a nearly 30% drop in heart disease deaths — during the same period.
With a doubling of the number of Americans over 65 by the year 2030, Alzheimer’s mortality rates will continue to soar. The obesity epidemic is another contributing factor, with weight-related ailments accelerating the aging of the brain.
Now for the good news: New research suggests that fruit and vegetable juice may offer powerful protection against Alzheimer’s. A Vanderbilt University study found that those who drank fruit or vegetable juice more than three times per week were an astounding 75% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than once-a-week or non-juice drinkers. Researchers believe that the antioxidant polyphenols contained in the juice guard against the oxidation (or rust, if you will) of brain tissue.
You’ll get even more healthy nutrients if you squeeze (or juice) your own fruit and vegetables. Different fruit and veggie drinks have different nutrient profiles with particular targeted benefits. Answer this issue’s Dole Poll to tell us which juice you prefer, then check next month’s DNN to learn more about the nutrients and potential health benefits of commonly consumed fruit and vegetable juices.
For more ways to minimize Alzheimer’s risk, browse the DNN archives to learn why a complex job may help maintain mental acuity, or how fish can keep you keen through the years.
Published January 1, 2007