A Protein in Cucumbers, Potatoes and Other Vegetables Could Lead to Alzheimer's Disease

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: May 22, 2017 19:08 IST

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A Protein in Cucumbers, Potatoes and Other Vegetables Could Lead to Alzheimer's Disease
Highlights
  • A link has been found between memory loss and proteins called lectins
  • The study also indicates that lectins can be harmful for the gut
  • These proteins are found in plants and they act as natural repellants
According to the Health experts, we should eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday as they're a great source of fiber, antioxidants and several other vitamins and minerals. But are all vegetables as healthy as we think they are? They may not be, according to this new study. Some health experts are now claiming that you should go easy on vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes as they contain a protein that may lead to Alzheimer's disease. 

According to a study conducted by Dr. Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon and cardiologist from California, a link has been found between memory loss and proteins called lectins in foods such as cucumbers, tomatoes, whole grains, soy, peppers, sprouted grains and some dairy products. His study also indicates that lectins can be harmful for the gut.Recently, American actress Gwyneth Paltrow was ridiculed for publishing a post on her website, Goop, by Dr. Gundry which suggested that a protein found in cucumbers can be linked to Alzheimer's disease. The article sparked a debate and now many experts and scientists have come out in support of the above theory and the harmful effects of lectin. 

(Also read: How to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease)
whole grains

Another expert, Dr. Tom Greenfield from England studied the effect of lectin on different blood types and concluded that it can play a role in brain disorders. The protein can affect people differently and the damage depends on a person's genetics. Dr. Greenfield further noted that lectins can impact your body and cause changed to the immune system and your blood levels. They can block insulin receptors and this can affect the blood vessels, even in the brain. 

Yet another researcher, Dr. David Jockers supports these claims and adds that these proteins have been found to block nutrient absorption which can cause several health problems. Alzheimer's is a chronic disease that damages your mental functions and ultimately leads to memory loss. The disease affects your brain connections that start to degrade due to the damage caused to the brain cells. This causes difficulties with thinking, problem-solving and language. The main cause of Alzheimer's has been a bit obscure up until now and scientists put the blame on genetics. But this study gives it a new direction and suggests that eating certain vegetables may put you at the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. 

Lectin is a type of protein found in plants and they act as a natural defense system against pests, insects and micro-organisms. When these plants are consumed raw, lectins may interact with your blood vessels and try to attack them acting as a natural repellent. The body does not digest lectins and therefore, produces antibodies against them. This may make certain foods intolerable as lectins can stimulate varying immune responses that differ from person to person. According to a significant study by David L J Freed published in the Journal BMJ, many lectins are powerful allergens and evidence is suggestive that they may cause disease. 

CommentsWith Inputs from ANI

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