Soy to reduce Alzheimer's risk?

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Related tags: Menopause, Alzheimer's disease

Soy may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease,especially in
postmenopausal women, say researchers. A three-year animal study
shows that chemicals found...

Soy may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease,especially in postmenopausal women, say researchers. A three-year animal study shows that chemicals found in soy, called phytoestrogens, appear to reduce the number of protein changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from the University of Alabama​ at Birmingham examined the impact of certain types of phytoestrogen found in soy, known as isoflavones. The study was carried out on aged female monkeys who had their ovaries removed to mimic the effects of going through the menopause and 45 monkeys were fed one of three diets: soy with isoflavones, soy without isoflavones and Premarin, a commonly prescribed oestrogen replacement for women. Scientists then examined the brain tissue of three monkeys in each group for some of the protein changes that are markers of Alzheimer's disease. Lead researcher Dr Helen Kim said:"Consistent with our expectation that the soy phytoestrogens would have 'beneficial' effects, we found fewer Alzheimer's disease-linked tau protein changes in the brains of monkeys that received soy isoflavones."​ Improperly functioning tau proteins in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease can cause the skeletal structure of nerve cells to collapse. The researchers also found that monkeys fed on Premarin showed less signs of tau protein malfunction. Dr Richard Harvey, director of research, Alzheimer's Society told the BBC News Online "At this stage nothing from this study could be generalised to humans. "However, there is growing evidence that oestrogen and oestrogen replacement therapy for post menopausal women may have a role in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life."​ The research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Source:BBC

Related topics: Science

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