Study proves that automotive pollution is an environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease

If you want to avoid Alzheimer’s disease, you should avoid areas with lots of automobiles and industries. The air pollution from cars and industrial processes, an article in Natural Health 365 stated, might make you more vulnerable to the onset of the widespread form of dementia.

A recently published Lancaster University paper investigated the brain tissue in the frontal cortexes of 37 participants from Lancaster and Mexico. The researchers found extremely high levels of magnetite nanoparticles in the brains of the participants.

Magnetite is an iron compound with magnetic properties. Large amounts of it in the brain is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It worsens the toxic effects of beta-amyloid plaque, a protein deposit that blocks the signals that cells send to each other.

Residents of heavily-polluted areas have been shown to be more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. While the Lancaster researchers refrained from outright saying that magnetite nanoparticles could cause dementia, their findings seem to indicate a strong connection. (Related: One of nature’s best kept secrets: Elya leaves reduce brain damage linked to Alzheimer’s.)

Automobile air pollution can cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s

The Lancaster researchers found millions of grams of magnetite nanoparticles in mere grams of brain tissue from the participants. To make matters worse, the particles were artificial in origin.

Magnetite particles come in natural and artificial forms. The biologically-formed particles are small and look like proper crystals.

The nanoparticles found throughout the brain tissue of the participants, on the other hand, are large spheres. There were 100 of them for every biological magnetite particle present in the tissue.

Lancaster researcher Barbara Maher explained that the artificial magnetite particles started out as molten droplets from car exhaust, factories, and the smokestacks of power plants. The high temperatures of the combustion process that created them also gave the particles their shape.

Maher referred to the particles as an environmental factor that might contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to urging further investigation of magnetite, she also stressed the need to reduce the amounts of these particles in the air.

The air quality in Lancaster roadsides is very poor. A mere cubic meter of air can have as many as 200 magnetite particles.

Once inhaled, those particles will make their way from the nose to the brain. There, they affect the hippocampus and frontal cortex, which are also targeted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Magnetite is considered to be toxic. It interrupts cellular functions and is partly responsible for the creation of free radicals that cause damage to cells and tissue. Again, these effects are also present in Alzheimer’s.

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can protect the brain from magnetite nanoparticles

Your primary protection against the negative effects of magnetite nanoparticles are antioxidants that scavenge these free radicals. Your body normally produces these protective compounds, but constant exposure to air pollution can deplete internal antioxidant levels faster than they can be replenished.

Fortunately, you can boost your antioxidant levels by eating foods rich in them or taking supplements. Antioxidants from natural sources have been shown to be more effective than the ones in supplements.

Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. The more intense the color of the edible plant, the better as the color pigments are also antioxidants.

Lycopene is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes and watermelon. Citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges owe their green, orange, and yellow colors to carotenoids, flavonoids, and limonoids.

These polyphenols are powerful antioxidants on their own. They are even more effective when consumed together.

Another good antioxidant is beta-carotene, an orange pigment found in carrots, pumpkin, and squash. Then there are the catechins in green tea.

Read up on more ways to protect yourself against Alzheimer’s disease at

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