Breaking Down Amyloid-Beta Plaque

amyloid plaquesAlzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating fatal neurological condition that we’ve all heard or read about or have first-hand experience through our family connection. It is characterized by memory loss and abnormal behavior.

Amyloid beta plaque

This article discusses the role of amyloid beta plaque and the possibility of preventing or slowing its development. Formation of this plaque is the first event in the pathology of Alzheimer’s eventually resulting in nerve cell death.1

What is Amyloid-Beta Plaque?

Amyloid-beta is produced throughout life in healthy brains.  A specific enzyme “snips” very small strands of amyloid-beta (AB) from the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP). In the healthy brain APP plays an essential role in nerve growth and nerve repair. In the healthy brain any excess AB is broken down, washed out of the brain, and eliminated from the body.

However when the enzyme snips longer strands, they are sticky and begin to tangle and accumulate in clumps of misfolded proteins in the spaces between nerve cells.2 It is unknown exactly why the responsible enzyme snips longer strands that do not readily dissolve, but interaction between APP and tau protein (linked with microtubule functioning in the brain), is likely part of the process.

The amyloid plaques first develop in the areas of the brain concerned with memory and other cognitive functions, the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of nerve tissue in the brain. as well as the hippocampus. The cerebral cortex controls “attention, perception, awareness, thought, memory, language, and consciousness.”3

Nutrients that may help prevent plaque deposits

Researchers have been investigating nutrients that may help break down these deposits of plaque or prevent their build-up.

Top brain nutrients that appear to have the widest range of brain benefits include: acetyl-L-carnitine, ashwagandha, apigenin, curcumin, DHA (or fish oil), gingko biloba, ginseng, grapeseed extract, green tea extract, lutein, N-acetyl-cysteine, resveratrol, olive leaf extract, phosphatidylserine, PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), vinpocetine, vitamin E, and zeaxanthin.

Any nutrients that may help delay or prevent Alzheimer’s must directly or indirectly impact amyloid-beta plaque production.  Therefore, they need to be able to:

    • cross the blood brain barrier, and
    • reduce development of beta-amyloid plaque or its precursors.

In addition, they must:

    • support growth of new nerve cells (neurogenesis),
    • support brain adaptability,
    • provide antioxidant support,
    • reduce inflammation, and
    • reduce excessive apoptosis (nerve cell death).

Alpha Lipoic Acid – The alpha R form is the one most easily utilized by the body. Supplementation with alpha lipoic acid inhibits progress of tau protein toward fibrils of plaque, reduces cognitive decline, lipid peroxidation, inflammation, and tau-induced iron overload.4

Astaxanthin in addition to enhance learning and memory, astaxanthin reduces tau hyperphosphorylation, a precursor process to beta-amyloid plaque.5 particularly when supplemented with DHA.

Curcumin – has been found to inhibit amyloid beta plaque, inhibit formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, inhibit acetylcholinesterase, mediate insulin signaling, reduce tau hyperphosphorylation, and binding to copper.6

DHA, a component of omega-3 essential fatty acids, reduces amyloid beta build-up7 (especially in conjunction with astaxanthin), but also promotes brain-derived nerve factor,8 supports cognition,9 and enhances neurogenesis. It supports cell differentiation, maturation, neuron survival, and inflammation reduction.

Ginger Root  increases neurogenesis, raises BDNF levels, enhances cognitive function, and helps in reducing amyloid beta plaque for those with Alzheimer’s.10

Ginseng is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body reduce stressors.  It may reduce amyloid and neurofibrillary fiber build-up related to Alzheimer’s. 11 12 13

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) may reverse amyloid beta toxicity in the brain. 14 15 Some other benefits include rejuvenating nerve and brain cells and is believed to be capable of increasing intelligence, longevity, and memory.16 17

Melatonin stimulates non-amyloidogenic processing and inhibits beta amyloid precursor protein processing culminating in amyloid aggregates.18 Much research shows the benefits of melatonin for PD motor and nonmotor impairments, including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment.19

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) indirectly reduces beta-amyloid plaque accumulation by increasing circulation, protecting the brain against neurotoxins, improving mitochondrial function, and supporting BDNF.20

Zeaxanthin inhibits amyloid beta aggregation,  and, combined with lutein, reduces AD mortality.21

This information is from Michael Edson’s new book “Natural Brain Support: Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s and Dementia and Other Related Diseases Naturally.” This book is also available as an e-book.

We’ve created several brain-supporting nutrient packages that contain many of these components.

Brain and Memory Support Package 1  contains nerve and brain support mushrooms, a range of antioxidants including essential fatty acids and astaxanthin, our whole food, organic, GMO free eye and brain formula with lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberry, organic tomato, broccoli, spinach and more, and a proprietary blend of catalase, saw palmetto, alpha lipoic acid, d-ribose, phosphatidylserine, rhodiola, trans resveratrol, horse tail, quercetin, PABA, nettle root, fisetin, CoQ10, barley grass, PQQ, fo ti, and biotin.

Next: Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease



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