A Drink of Fruit and Vegetable Juice a Day Keeps Alzheimers Away

The American Journal of Medicine has just published a report on a study that seems to indicate regular intake of fruit and vegetable juices may contribute to the prevention of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

At the end of this article I will show you the abstract of the report that you can also find on the AJM website so that you can see the source data for this post for yourself but here is my interpretation and thoughts on what it says.

First of all the study is a long term one because it lasted over 10 years and followed nearly 2000 people.   Previous studies of this type have either been inconclusive or have produced inconsistent results. The community of people it followed were Japanese Americans but the study seemed to think that the same results would hold true for any community of people.

The subjects (who were dementia free at the start of the study which took place from 1991-2001) were divided into two groups – one who drank fruit and vegetable juice more than 3 times per week and the second who drank it less than once per week.

  The study found that the risk of Alzheimers was 76% lower in the group that drank vegetable and fruit juice more than 3 times per week.


Here’s the science bit….Now I don’t know about you but that seems to be a pretty good reason to start drinking vegetable and fruit juices.  I think one of the biggest fears that people have as they begin to age, (and I have certainly see this in my work) is the fear of losing their mental capacity as they get older.  I have seen first hand how devastating Alzheimers can be not only to the sufferer but also to their family and friends.

In brief (and remember that this is a layman’s interpretation of what goes on in the brain) Alzheimers is caused by clumps of a protein called beta amyloid that are encouraged to form by something called hydrogen peroxide.  Now fruit and vegetable juices contain polyphenols which are the most abundant dietary source of anti-oxidants.  It is these polyphenols that create greater protection against the process stimulated by the hydrogen peroxide.

Now anti-oxidants is something that you hear about all the time when it comes to good diet and you will find oodles of them in fresh fruit and vegetables.  They are very good for combatting the effects of free radicals in the body.  Now as a layman in this area I don’t fully understand nor can I explain what free radicals are.

All I know is that they are produced, amongst other reasons, as a result of our stressful modern lifestyle and they are not good for the body and mind.  In fact I heard one doctor describe them as the things that make the body “rust”.

  So in short – bad stuff in the brain forms – Alzheimers occurs – good stuff in fresh fruit and vegetables stops bad stuff forming – Alzheimers much less likely to occur.

Please note that this is extremely simplified 🙂 so that I can understand it but I think it is quite easy to see that the inclusion of fruit and vegetable juices in out diet should be something that we must seriously consider as part of our health and mental well-being plan.  Now I haven’t managed to get hold of the complete study report yet but what the abstract does not tell us is exactly what juice was drunk.

However I have been juicing personally for about 8 years now, switching from fruit based juice to vegetable based juice about 4 years ago, and I have found it an incredible boost to my health.  Combined with a diet full of fresh food, salads with plenty of water, not only do I feel great but I have lots more energy, am never ill, my skin is clear and I am mentally alert.

In summary because my diet is full of fresh “live” food I feel “Alive”.  Now before you think I am getting on my dietary moral high horse, I do have the occasional blips (chocolate and the odd pizza) but generally I am happy that I have made the diet choices I have.  This is the juice that I have every morning for breakfast:

2 Apples
3 Carrots
A Handful of Spinach
2 Sticks of Celery
An inch of Ginger
1/2 a lemon
1/2 a cucumber
(all organic of course :-))

If it seems extreme to you….you are probably right it is if you are used to tea, toast and a hearty fry up in the morning.  However the difference that it has made in the way that I feel is incredible and on the occasions that I do opt for tea and toast (hotels don’t have vegetable juice on the menu unfortunately) I do feel the difference.

Now I would like to write loads and loads about the benefits of juicing however I am not an expert and I’d not only confuse you I’d confuse myself.  That is why I am going to point you in the direction of Jason Vale, known as the Juice Master.  If you visit the Juice Master Website and buy one of his books you will find all the information you ever need.   He explains it in layman’s terms and will give you some real common sense advice without being too faddy.  You can even get the best juicer for you to suit your budget and needs.  Jason is an amazing guy and if you get chance to see him speak he is an inspiration.   Check him out, you’ll be glad you did.

So I’d recommend that you should try juicing because it is something that I do myself and I have got tremendous benefits from it and after reading the report about its affect on Alzheimers, it seems silly not to.

Oh, one last thing…here is a copy of the abstract for the report that I promised you.  To see it (and others like it) you can also visit The American Journal of Medicine.

Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Alzheimer’s Disease: TheKameProject
Qi Dai, MD, PhDa, Amy R. Borenstein, PhDb, Yougui Wu, PhDb, James C. Jackson, PsyDcde, Eric B. Larson, MD, MPHf
Growing evidence suggests that oxidative damage caused by the β-amyloid peptide in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease may be hydrogen peroxide mediated. Many polyphenols, the most abundant dietary antioxidants, possess stronger neuroprotection against hydrogen peroxide than antioxidant vitamins.
We tested whether consumption of fruit and vegetable juices, containing a high concentration of polyphenols, decreases the risk of incident probable Alzheimer’s disease in the Kame Project cohort, a population-based prospective study of 1836 Japanese Americans in King County, Washington, who were dementia-free at baseline (1992- 1994) and were followed through 2001.
After adjustment for potential confounders, the hazard ratio for probable Alzheimer’s disease was 0.24 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09- 0.61) comparing subjects who drank juices at least 3 times per week with those who drank less often than once per week with a hazard ratio of 0.84 (95% CI, 0.31- 2.29) for those drinking juices 1 to 2 times per week (P for trend < .01). This inverse association tended to be more pronounced among those with an apolipoprotein Eε-4 allele and those who were not physically active. Conversely, no association was observed for dietary intake of vitamins E, C, or β-carotene or tea consumption.
Fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly among those who are at high risk for the disease. These results may lead to a new avenue of inquiry in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.