Can beer help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

As you grow older, your mind and memory don’t quite work as they used to when you were young. Memory problems can creep in and can have an impact on your brain functionality. One of the most common brain problems that affect the older population is Alzheimer’s disease. For the unversed, Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes brain cells to die and your brain to shrink. Several ways can help you manage the condition.

A recent study conducted by Researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca found that beer might help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what the findings suggest.

Beer prevents Alzheimer’s disease risk, claims a study

For the study, the researchers tested the effectiveness of four popular types of hop flower extracts, commonly found in beer and whether they prevent brain protein clumping that causes Alzheimer’s. As per the study, all beers contain hop flower extracts and contain natural antioxidants thought to defend the body’s cells. They found that these extracts were able to prevent amyloid beta proteins from clumping around the cells when tested on human nerve cells and amyloid proteins. However, the study does not claim or recommend that people should consume more beer to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

beer for Alzheimer's disease
Is beer good to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra, Director, Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, to dig deeper into the findings. Let’s find out if the claims stand true!

Does beer really mitigate the risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

Many a times, medical studies find results that may not reflect the actual outcome or may not be valid in practice, says the expert. “This study may not hold true for all! Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and major brain ailment, so it is unlikely that any one drug or ingredient (here beer) can help prevent or successfully in every patient.”

Instead of relying on one thing, Dr Chhabra suggests incorporating basic preventive techniques can help. “It will keep your blood sugar and weight in check while challenging the mind at regular intervals to increase its brain activity. There is substantial evidence that adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours, such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking, can significantly lower the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.”

Alzheimer's disease
Lifestyle changes to mitigate Alzheimer’s disease. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Lifestyle changes to reduce Alzheimer’s risk

Here are a few lifestyle changes you can do to reduce the risk of the disease:

  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, particularly protein sources containing omega-3 fatty acids
  • Using cognitive skills such as memory skills to challenge your brain

Caution: Talk to your doctor before making any changes in your lifestyle, especially if you suffer from an underlying disease.

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