By Michelle Fabio
We know that tomatoes are good for us.
From their lycopene alone, we may be getting protection from any number of cancers and heart disease, but did you know that tomatoes may also hold the key to fighting Alzheimer’s Disease?
It is believed that Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, is caused by the accumulation of the protein beta-amyloid, which in turn kills neurons in the brain, affecting memory.
If scientists can manage to prevent this accumulation through immune system stimulation, Alzheimer’s Disease may be slowed down or even prevented.
And so, in Korea, researchers used tomatoes, which carry a small percentage of the beta-amyloids, in an experiment with a group of mice, who were immunized once a week for three weeks. The tomatoes were injected with more of the protein and after the last booster was given, the mice showed a strong immune response and production of antibodies.
Although the mice didn’t show a lower level of “existing plaques,” according to researchers, the real benefit is that it “represents a unique approach in which transgenic plants expressing beta-amyloid protein are used to produce a vaccine.”
Could a vaccine for Alzheimer’s really come from our beloved tomato? Stay tuned.