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Open Access Review

Why nutraceuticals do not prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease

Anna EO Fisher and Declan P Naughton*

Author Affiliations

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Cockcroft Building, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, UK

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Nutrition Journal 2005, 4:14  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-14

Published: 12 April 2005

Abstract

A great deal of research has pointed to deleterious roles of metal ions in the development of Alzheimer's disease. These include: i) the precipitation and aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides to form senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, and/or ii) the augmentation of oxidative stress by metal ion mediated production and activation of hydrogen peroxide. The growing trend in nutraceutical intake is in part a result of the belief that they postpone the development of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. However, pathogenic events centred on metal ions are expected to be aggravated by frequent nutraceutical intake. Novel therapeutic approaches centred on chelators with specificity for copper and iron ions should be fully explored.