Nutrition

Can strawberries help fend off Alzheimer’s disease (AD)?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 17, 2022

Did you know that research suggests a compound found in strawberries may help prevent AD? This study investigated how strawberry intake impacted the build up of phosphorylated tau tangles in the brain (a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease).

Study Summary

The study, including dietary and health data for 575 deceased participants, found that:

  • Those who consumed the highest amount of pelargonidin (a plant nutrient found in strawberries) had less amyloid plaque and phosphorylated tau tangles, when compared to those with the lowest pelargonidin intake.
  • For those not at high genetic risk of AD, there was an association between high strawberry and pelargonidin intake and less phosphorylated tau tangles. However, this did not hold true for those with high genetic risk of AD.

To conclude, researchers associated a higher intake of pelargonidin with reduced AD neuropathology.

The Hearty Take

This research provides us with evidence for a simple change that anyone can make in their diet to protect brain health. Pelargonidin has anti-inflammatory properties which may reduce the neuroinflammation, amyloid plaques and tau tangles present in AD neuropathology. This study suggests that consuming greater amounts of strawberries may reduce the risk of AD. Other sources of pelargonidin include ripe raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries, as well as plums and pomegranates. Many of these are low sugar fruits, with high nutrient density and high levels of polyphenols, so they are high on our list of ‘to eat foods’. Curious to learn about your genetic risk to AD? Reach out to your doctor to get your genes tested!

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