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Posted: May 28, 2008

Can Chemical in Celery Help Fight Alzheimer's?

The pieces continue to slowly come together in the Alzheimer’s puzzle. This time, a new study finds that a chemical found in celery and other natural forms reduced brain inflammation linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Mice that drank water spiked with the chemical, an antioxidant called luteolin, had less inflammation than other rodents when researchers tested them with bacteria, according to a study by University of Illinois researchers published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"One of the questions we were interested in is whether something like luteolin, or other bioactive food components, can be used to mitigate age-associated inflammation and therefore improve cognitive function and avoid some of the cognitive deficits that occur in aging," said principal investigator Rodney Johnson, an animal sciences professor at the University of Illinois.
The chemical is also found in hot peppers, parsley and chamomile tea. Luteolin and other plant chemicals called flavonoids have also been found to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke in humans.
Brain inflammation has been linked in other studies to Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and memory loss. This study, the first to focus on luteolin's brain-protecting properties, showed the substance modulates the body's response to diseases that inflame the brain.
The mice were fed the equivalent of roughly 47 human servings of celery each day, the journal account of the study said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 2 1/2-cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily.
More research is needed before human tests are a consideration, the UI researchers said.
(Article courtesy of

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