Are Tea and Wine Effective for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP reports on recent research at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom) finding that natural polyphenols in green tea and red wine disrupt a primary step in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

It's a misconception that Alzheimer's is a natural part of aging; it's a disease that we believe can ultimately be cured…

Many genetic and environmental risk factors have been pointed to as causing Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated 14 million baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are expected to develop Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases. An estimated cost exceeding $52 trillion for their care threatens to bankrupt the United States government. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP relates that only early recognition and preventative strategies offer any hope of halting the progression of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

A rather recent epidemic, Alzheimer’s disease first appeared about 100 years ago. The incidence has especially exploded during the last 50 to 60 years. In the United States, 10% of those in their sixties suffer from Alzheimer’s, increasing to 20% of those living into their seventies, and affecting an astounding 30% in their eighties.

A research team led by Professor Nigel Hooper at the University of Leeds (England) published: Prion protein-mediated neurotoxity of amyloid-β oligomers requires lipid rafts and the transmembrane LRP1 in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Alzheimer’s disease develops when clumps of amyloid proteins form variously shaped “sticky balls”. The amyloid balls attach to brain cell surface proteins called prions, causing the brain cells to malfunction and die. Using purified extracts of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (polyphenols found in green tea and resveratrol from red wine), this chemical pathway was interrupted, preventing the amyloid proteins from attaching to the brain cells.

The researchers found that when the amyloid balls stick to the brain cells’ prion proteins, even more amyloid was produced, making for a deadly vicious cycle. Wondering if altering the shape of the amyloid balls would affect their ability to attach to the prion proteins, they formed amyloid balls in a test tube and tested them on animal brain cells. Previous research showed the ability of EGCG extracts from green tea and red wine to re-shape amyloid proteins. When EGCG was added to the mixture of amyloid balls, the amyloid balls no longer harmed the brain cells. The shape of the amyloid balls was distorted so that they could not bind to the prion proteins and cause cellular malfunction and death.

This research offers hope for developing preventative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease for which there is currently no effective treatment. Quoting Professor Hooper, “This is an important step in increasing our understanding of the cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease. It's a misconception that Alzheimer's is a natural part of aging; it's a disease that we believe can ultimately be cured through finding new opportunities for drug targets like this.”

It is too early to state that drinking green tea or red wine can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are several other researched measures that help lessen the risk of developing the disease.

The May 2, 2012 edition of Neurology stated that consuming omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of β-amyloid proteins by 37%. The February 28, 2012 edition of Neurology stated that increased omega-3 levels in the blood limits the formation of tau entanglements of Alzheimer’s in the brain, and improves nerve function, growth and repair, along with ability to remember.

A study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology found that copper produces excess free radicals affecting the brain, leading to Alzheimer’s. The most common source is from copper pipes in plumbing, as seen in over 80% of American homes.

The amino acid cysteine is effective in binding copper to remove it from the brain. Common food sources are red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

The research team led by Dr. Richard L Veech demonstrated that coconut oil is beneficial in treating and preventing neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, autism, and dementias such as Alzheimer’s.

So while it is too early to know if drinking green tea and red wine can prevent Alzheimer's, there is research to show the benefits of increasing the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, being careful to avoid excess copper, consuming vegetables high in the amino acid cysteine, and adding coconut oil to the diet.

Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and natural nutrition for the natural treatment of neurological conditions and pain without drugs or surgery.

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP
Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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