A social media post claims that apples can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. We fact-checked and found the claim to be mostly false.
A social media post claims, “APPLE – Filled with fiber so you feel full longer, good for weight loss. Also filled with antioxidants to protect against diseases. Alzheimer’s prevention” written in the description of an image showing different fruits.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that degrades thinking and reasoning skills to affect memory. The condition makes it difficult for people to strike up a conversation.
As the condition worsens, people often find themselves unable to coordinate their five senses to think, reason and remember better. Such a situation can withdraw people from their social life. An isolated person may experience loneliness or low self-esteem that further aggravates the condition making it tough to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Can apples prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
Not exactly. No evidence confirms apples prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Even the National Institute of Ageing website claims to have ‘no evidence’ of ‘eating or avoiding a specific food to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or age-related cognitive decline’.
The claim of apples being effective against Alzheimer’s disease is merely based upon observational studies. There is a growing body of evidence linking apples with Alzheimer’s disease. But all the published papers only suggest the correlation, not causation which means the claim of apples preventing Alzheimer’s disease is only dependent upon the observational understanding of researchers.
Further clinical trials are essential to establish apples to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Can diet cure Alzheimer’s Disease?
Not Exactly. Though a healthy diet prevents/arrests inflammation, which is a factor in progression of AD. But there are no studies to support this. The Alzheimer’s Association website has shown that the disease can occur due to genetics, lifestyle and environmental risk factors.
The commonly known risk factors are age, family history, heredity, head injury, etc. Eating a healthy diet will not have any effect on these factors. Another study suggests, “diabetes, midlife hypertension and obesity, smoking, depression, cognitive inactivity, and low educational attainment” are also potential risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a healthy diet can have some effect on these factors. But the already formed plaque in the brain cells can only be controlled with prescription-based medications.
(Reviewed by Sheela Krishnaswamy. She is a Registered Dietitian with 38 years of professional experience in the clinical, corporate and communication spaces.)
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