Green Tea And Carrots Could Help Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms

Researchers are excited about new evidence which suggests a diet including green tea, rice and carrots can reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

A team at the University of Southern California found mice with the degenerative neurological disease performed better in neuropsychological tests after consuming compounds found in the foods.

"You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today," said senior author Terrence Town.

"I find that very encouraging."

According to the study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers studied two main compounds -- EGCG, which is found in green tea, and ferulic acid (FA), found in various plants and vegetables including carrots, tomatoes, rice and wheat.

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A group of mice were assigned to one of four groups, with an equal number of males and females. For comparison, each group also contained an equal number of healthy mice.

Over the course of three months, the rodents were given a combination of EGCG and FA, EGCG or FA only, or a placebo.

After the three-month period, some mice given the plant compound-based diet made their way through mazes -- an indicator their memory had been restored.

"Combination treatment completely restored working memory and the Alzheimer's mice performed just as well as the healthy comparison mice," Town said.

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While it's important to remember many mouse discoveries never translate into human treatments, researchers said the findings support the idea that there are readily available, plant-based supplements which might offer protection against dementia.

It also leads scientists to believe that combination therapy may offer the best approach to treating those with Alzheimer's-like symptoms, as opposed to a single magic bullet.