Saturday, April 18, 2015

Can Drinking Milk Prevent Alzheimer's Disease? By K. Aleisha Fetters

How to Make More Glutathione
You can't just eat more glutathione. You have to consume precursors of the molecule to help your body increase its levels naturally, Mass says. "That's why dairy products may have a potential connection to glutathione levels. They are rich in cysteine, one of the building blocks of glutathione." Unfortunately, few adults meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 3-cup recommendation for daily dairy intake, Choi says. She notes that, in the current study, the closer subjects' dairy intakes were to the recommended levels, the healthier their levels of glutathione in the brain. "The dairy connection makes great sense and shouldn't be ignored, but maybe this research on dairy is pointing us in a more efficient direction," says Mass, who notes that the pasteurization process can possibly harm and limit glutathione precursors in milk. "What other foods may also help provide the body with the building blocks to support our glutathione? We need more research and this study could be the beginning of something bigger." Currently, one of the most popular ways to raise glutathione levels is by consuming whey protein. In fact, in a previous study published in Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, patients with reduced liver function improved their liver function, plasma glutathione levels and total antioxidant capacity after consuming 20 grams of cysteine-rich whey protein isolate a day for 12 weeks. "When it's manufactured well and does not undergo any high-heat processing, it retains glutathione precursors such as cysteine, lactoferrin and glutamate," Mass says. To ensure that your whey protein is high in those precursors, she recommends choosing a product that has been produced using ultra-filtration methods and cold-processing techniques. "These methods allow us to consume protein powder that has higher levels of amino acids than other sources along with immunoglobulins, which support a healthy immune system to further prevent oxidative damage." Another benefit is that since whey protein contains very little lactose, or milk sugar, you may be able to consume the protein even if you are lactose intolerant. If it does upset your stomach, though, you can also get cysteine from meats, poultry, eggs and quinoa, Mass says. Sulfur-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other leafy greens), onions and garlic may also support glutathione synthesis in the body. Whatever you eat to increase your glutathione levels, for optimal Alzheimer's protection, you'll also need to integrate other brain-boosting strategies into your daily routine. "To optimally reduce oxidative stress and Alzheimer's risk, you have to hit from every angle," Isaacson says. In addition to dietary changes, he recommends regularly working out, reducing stress and exercising your brain with continual learning, games and brain teasers. But, come breakfast time, drinking a glass of milk is a perfect place to start. U.S. News & World Report Yahoo!