Healthy living

Purple fruit can help to stave off Alzheimer's

Purple fruit can help to stave off Alzheimers Counteracts damaging toxins

Eating purple coloured fruit such as blueberries can help ward off diseases including Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, research claims.

Professor Douglas Kell at the University of Manchester has found that the majority of debilitating illnesses are in part caused by poorly-bound iron, which causes the production of dangerous toxins that can damage living tissues.

These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of many kinds in different parts of the body.

In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to counteract the effect by taking on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly.

Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of chelators, as is green tea. However, purple fruits are considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively, Dr Kell said.

Despite conflicting reports, the widely-publicised benefits of red wine seem to work in a different way, and have no similar benefits, Dr Kell’s paper noted.

The new report is the first time so many different diseases have been linked to the presence of the wrong form of iron, and gives a clue as to how to prevent them, or at least slow them down.

In his report, Dr Kell argues that the means by which poorly-bound iron speeds up the onset of debilitating diseases shows up areas in which current, traditional thinking is flawed and can even be dangerous.

For instance, Vitamin C is thought to be of great benefit to the body’s ability to defend itself against toxins and diseases.

However, Dr Kell said that excess vitamin C can in fact have the opposite effect to that intended if unbound iron compounds are also present.

Only when iron is suitably and safely bound or “chelated,” will vitamin C work effectively.

“Much of modern biology has been concerned with the role of different genes in human disease.

“The importance of iron may have been missed because there is no gene for iron as such. What I have highlighted in this work is therefore a crucial area for further investigation, as many simple predictions follow from my analysis.

“If true they might change greatly the means by which we seek to prevent and even cure such diseases,” Dr Kell said.

The findings are published in the Archives of Toxicology.

This article was published on Wed 8 December 2010

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