Alzheimer’s Disease From Oxidative Stress

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • One in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s and it kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined
  • In 2019 Alzheimer’s is costing the nation $290 billion. By 2050 that is expected to rise to $1.1 trillion
  • Among people age 70, 61% of those with Alzheimer’s dementia are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30% of people without Alzheimer’s – a rate twice as high
  • The saddest stat of all: Only 16% of seniors receive cognitive assessments in doctors’ checkups.

Harvard: Inflammation is the unifying link between all diseases – Mental & physical. Oxidative stress, if uncontrolled leads to inflammation.

Quick review of oxidative stress (I have many articles here to check out on oxidative stress). An imbalance in our redox state as a result of increased free radicals and a decrease in antioxidant defense. Free radicals are molecules that contains one or more unpaired electrons in its outer shell, trying to rebalance itself by snatching another molecule’s electrons. This imbalance causes a significant decrease in the effectiveness of antioxidant defenses, such as glutathione.

There are many causes of oxidative stress, both endogenous & exogenous, and unfortunately in unavoidable. Again, please refer to my many other articles here.

Pubmed: Tissues and organs, particularly the brain, a vulnerable organ, are affected by ROS due to its composition. The brain is largely composed of easily oxidizable lipids while featuring a high oxygen consumption rate. In other words – the brain is an easy target to suffer the ravages of inflammation.

Now: If we all learned about oxidative stress, how to minimize it – maybe we could prevent a lot of these cases of Alzheimer’s – and the other top diseases killing us?

More and more research is proving Alzheimer’s disease pathology is of oxidative stress. This Alzheimer’s Disease related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione.

A 2018 human study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed glutathione to be significantly depleted in Alzheimer’s patients compared to those without Alzheimer’s. Glutathione is accepted as the omnipotent anti-oxidant that protects the brain from free radical damage. Researchers are hoping these findings will give us another measure to use when diagnosing potential for the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease or recognizing those that are in the early stages of advancement.

Ways to increase glutathione:

  • Spinach, avocados, asparagus
  • sulphur rich foods: Beef, fish, poultry. To a lesser extent vegetables such as cruciferous vegetables and allium vegetables (garlic and onion, don’t brown it!)
  • vitamin C rich foods
  • Selenium rich foods (please no Selenium supplements – it can be toxic)

Heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes… all of our top killers are, oxidative stress is a major factor in all of them. Learning how to properly control oxidative stress, really what a proactive lifestyle is all about.