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FOLIC ACID AND ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

Alzheimer's disease may be caused by eating too much meat and too few leafy green vegetables and whole grains. Alzheimer's disease occurs when a person loses his ability to reason and think, and eventually dies of not being able to use his mind. Dr. David Snowden has published continuing results from his famous Kentucky Nuns Study, showing that nuns who were most likely to suffer Alzheimer's disease have low blood levels of the vitamin folic acid and high levels of the protein building block homocysteine. He reported previously that the nuns who were most likely to suffer Alzheimer's disease had ministrokes.

Not eating enough leafy greens and whole grains can deprive you of the vitamin folic acid, and eating too much meat provides you with too much methionine. The combination of these two factors raises brain levels of homocysteine, that punches holes in arteries and causes plaques to form in them to cause ministrokes, which damage your brain. Methionine is an essential protein building block that your body uses to make another building block called cysteine. If you lack any of three vitamins: B12, folic acid or pyridoxine, methionine is converted to a poison called homocysteine that damages arteries and causes strokes and heart attacks.

Meat is one of the richest sources of methionine, and leafy greens and whole grains are full of folic acid that prevents methionine from being converted to homocysteine. Loading up on methionine from meat and not eating enough foods with folic acid causes methionine to be converted into homocysteine. You can help to prevent Alzheimer's disease by getting folic acid from whole grains and fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts, and most plants; and by reducing your intake of methionine by eating less meat and chicken.

Checked 8/9/05

August 14th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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