According to the Alzheimers Society there are 750,000 people with dementia in the UK, and this is projected to rise to 1,000,000 by the year 2025. In a time of NHS cut backs the cost of caring for patients runs at some £20 billion a year. Research in this area is progressing and a recent breakthrough from America has thrown light in a safe and natural agent in the fight against the disease; Phytic acid (IP6).
The accumulation of soluble form of amyloid beta oligomer found between the nerve cells is an early hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, researchers are increasingly shifting their suspicions away from the large and insoluble protein aggregates seen in patients’ brains at autopsy or in brain-imaging studies to the smaller, still-soluble clusters of proteins known as oligomers. These structures appear to be the main source of neuron-harming toxicity in the Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about this change in research focus at the Dana Foundation web site.
Following on the heels of this shift in research focus, Dr Thimmappa Anekonda (assistant professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, USA) proposes a novel protective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with phytic acid (IP6), a plant chemical found in food grains. Phytic acid (IP6) treatment may reduce the oxidative stress and promote cellular housekeeping functions. Using the transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and age-matched wild-type mice Dr Anekonda successfully published his findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Alzheiners Disease. His results showed that there was a significant increase in brain levels of cytochrome oxidase and a decrease in lipid peroxidation with phytic acid administration. The boost in cytochrome oxidase levels may be viewed as protective against the aging and degenerative processes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, a papepublised last year in the journal Trends in Molecular Medicine supports this concept. In conclusion, Dr Anekonda indicates that the effect of Phytic acid (IP6) may provide a viable treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Dr Anekonda Bio