Could beetroot juice slow key step in Alzheimer’s progression?

By Tim Cutcliffe contact

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/ zeleno
© iStock/ zeleno
Betanin, the pigment that gives beetroot juice its red colour, could reduce the rate of misfolding beta-amyloid protein - thought to be a critical step in the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Although the exact mechanism of AD progression has not been confirmed, one key process suspected to involved is the misfolding of beta-amyloid protein fragments, inducing the formation of clumps or plaques, which in turn promotes inflammation and oxidation. Misfolding is thought to occur when beta-amyloid binds itself to metals. Copper is just one of the metals thought to be implicated in the oxidative process; although iron, zinc and others may also have a role, suggested the researchers

Using visible spectrophotometry, the researchers from the University of South Florida measured the degree of oxidation using a chemical marker 3,5 di-tert-butylcatechol (DTBC).

Little or no oxidation of DTBC occurred solely with beta-amyloid, the scientists found. However, when bound to copper, beta-amyloid caused significant DTBC oxidation. Subsequently, oxidation levels fell by around 90% when betanin was added to the copper-bound beta-amyloid mixture. Lower oxidation rates, may mean a reduced amount of misfolding, the researchers suggested.

"We can't say that betanin stops the misfolding completely, but we can say that it reduces oxidation,"​ said researcher Darrell Cole Cerrato, who presented findings at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society.

"Less oxidation could prevent misfolding to a certain degree, perhaps even to the point that it slows the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptides, which is believed to be the ultimate cause of Alzheimer's."

First step

"Our data suggest that betanin, a compound in beet extract, shows some promise as an inhibitor of certain chemical reactions in the brain that are involved in the progression of Alzheimer's disease,"​ added Professor Li-June Ming. "This is just a first step, but we hope that our findings will encourage other scientists to look for structures similar to betanin."

Although the researchers suggested that the findings could pave the way for future drugs to slow the progress of AD, betanin was chosen to see whether a positive effect could be obtained with a readily accessible ingredient.

“Rather than taking more of a pharmaceutical sort of approach, we wanted to make this work with something that anybody and everybody could get into without necessarily needing a prescription,”​ explained Cerrato.

Cerrato presented findings of the research at a meeting of the American Chemical Society on 20th​ March in New Orleans.

Abstract: “’Beeting’ Alzheimer's: Inhibition of Cu2+-β-amyloid mediated oxidation and peroxidation by betanin from sugar beets”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Bioavailability Study of Maqui Berry Extract

Bioavailability Study of Maqui Berry Extract

Anklam Extrakt GmbH | 12-Dec-2018 | Clinical Study

Several health-promoting effects have been reported for the Patagonian maqui berry, which is rich in anthocyanins. Within the course of a study, the bioavailability...

Indena’s approach in supporting sport nutrition

Indena’s approach in supporting sport nutrition

Indena: the botanical ingredient of Health Food industry | 22-Nov-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Edible plants confirm to be a paramount source of precious substances able to help in maintaining the overall wellbeing and complement the nutrition of...

Launching a unique cocoa extract processed sustainably

Launching a unique cocoa extract processed sustainably

Robertet Health & Beauty | 21-Nov-2018 | Technical / White Paper

A sweet treat and the ultimate symbol of delicacy, a mystical medicinal ingredient, an invigorating bitter beverage or even the food of the gods, cocoa...

Skin-Gut Axis: The Potential of Pomella®

Skin-Gut Axis: The Potential of Pomella®

Gee Lawson Nutritional - LEHVOSS Group | 02-Nov-2018 | Technical / White Paper

When skin is exposed to oxidative stress, the effectiveness of the endogenic antioxidant system can be significantly compromised. Pomegranate, a natural...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars