Alzheimer's Could be Diabetes-like Illness, Study Suggests

December 21, 2005

It is a recent discovery that the brain produces insulin. Now, a new study reveals that as Alzheimer's disease progresses, insulin production in the brain decreases.

"Many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder, or another type of diabetes," said senior researcher Suzanne M. de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Rhode Island Hospital and a professor of pathology at Brown University medical School.

The Brown University team discovered that brain levels of insulin and its correlated cellular receptors fall dramatically in the early stages of Alzheimer's. They revealed that the loss of insulin and insulin-like growth factor in the brain is directly associated with low levels of acetylcholine, which is a significant characteristic of Alzheimer's. The report appears in the November issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

At the start of this study the impact of the supplements Green Tea Extract and CLA were not even thought of yet - studies show these both impact weight.

Blueberry, Aronia Berry, and Blackcurrant liquid extracts rich in Anthocyanins may help protect the cardiovascular system

Endothelial cells are the cells that line the entire cardiovascular system from the heart to even the smallest blood vessels (capillaries). Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is needed for many physiological functions; it is a hormone like substance but unfortunately it tends to be pro-inflammatory. PGE2 contributes to inflammation in the circulatory system and blood vessel damage. In human endothelial cells exposed to oxidizing agents it was found that extracts from anthocyanin rich berries inhibited this function. Blueberry liquid extract, Aronia berry liquid extract, and Blackcurrant liquid extract all if rich in Anthocyanins, inhibited the release of PGE2 in endothelial cells and were antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. The study is published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Hygiene Research.