Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alzheimer's Prevention in your Pantry

    Alzheimer's, the degenerative brain disorder that disrupts memory, thought and behavior, is devastating to both patients and loved ones. According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in eight Americans over the age of 65 suffers from the disease. Now Tel Aviv University has discovered that an everyday spice in your kitchen cupboard could hold the key to Alzheimer's prevention.

    An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of the disease, according to Prof. Michael Ovadia of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University. After discovering that the cinnamon extract had antiviral properties, Prof. Ovadia empirically tested these properties in both laboratory and animal Alzheimer's models.

    The researchers isolated CEppt by grinding cinnamon and extracting the substance into an aqueous buffer solution. They then introduced this solution into the drinking water of mice that had been genetically altered to develop an aggressive form of Alzheimer's disease.

    After four months, the researchers discovered that development of the disease had slowed remarkably and the animals' activity levels and longevity were comparable to that of their healthy counterparts.

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