GUZZLING some types of beer boosts the brain's ability to fight of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have discovered.
Scientists from Italy say drinking larger can help the brain flush out harmful toxins which cause the brain eating disorder.
They discovered that hops – flowers used to give beer it's bitter flavour- contain antioxidants that can help reduce the build up protein plaques in the brain, which are strongly linked to Alzheimer's
Tettnang, a type of hop grown in Germany and found in amber and light lagers, was the best at clearing the dangerous plaques.
These beers also contained high levels of a certain antibiotic which is thought to reduce inflammation in the brain and can have beneficial effects in people with Alzheimer's disease, the experts said.
But the researchers were quick to point out that their study might not justify drinking more beer, as boozing is also a factor for Alzheimer's.
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This is because heavy drinking accelerates shrinkage, or atrophy, of the brain, which causing cognitive decline.
The researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca exposed four different types of hops found in beer to amyloid proteins and human nerve cells in lab dishes.
Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease, and the most common form of dementia.
It is caused by abnormal amounts of sticky deposits called amyloid beta proteins – which naturally occurring in the body.
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In cases of Alzheimer's, the proteins stick together and build into plaques which block neurons communicating and can disable cells.
Around 900,000 people in the UK have dementia, with Alzheimer's disease causing two in three cases.
It is incurable and often begins with forgetfulness and confusion before severe brain damage leads to mental and physical disability –and ultimately death.
Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer and is the leading cause of death for women and second for men, behind heart disease.
The study was published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
Around 850,000 Brits have dementia and the figure is expected to hit two million in the next three decades.
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Accordingto Drink Aware, It's safest for both men and women to drink no more than 14 units a week – equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer – spread over three or more days.
Previous research has found drinking two pints of beer a day cuts Alzheimer’s risk but six can cause it.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly over several years. Sometimes these symptoms are confused with other conditions and may initially be put down to old age.
- forget about recent conversations or events.
- misplace items.
- forget the names of places and objects.
- have trouble thinking of the right word.
- ask questions repetitively.
- show poor judgement or find it harder to make decisions.
- become less flexible and more hesitant to try new things
Source: NHS England
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