The neurovascular system, oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. What can you do to protect yourself?
It is very important to have a good blood supply to every tissue in the body. All tissues, but especially the brain, depending on the good blood supply to function properly. This is most important for the brain because it has a very high energy demand.
Neurons, glial cells, and blood vessels communicate with each other to regulate cerebral blood flow.
This study gathered information on the importance of oxidative stress as it relates to vascular changes observed in brain aging and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s (Carvalho C, Moreira PI, 2018).
One of the emerging causative factors associated with Alzheimer’s pathology is oxidative stress. This Alzheimer’s-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (Saharan S, Mandal PK, 2014).
Glutathione protects cells against oxidative stress, and protecting brain endothelial cells under oxidative stress is key to treating cerebrovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (Song J, et.al., 2014). The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessel wall.
The body makes glutathione, but it is making less as we get older, and that’s when we need more.
We can, however, take glutathione orally. Regularly reduced glutathione which is the most common form you will find for sale is not very bioavailable, most of it is oxidized in the stomach and is not going to provide much protection.
You can instead take S-Acetyl Glutathione which gets into the cells and provides very valuable protection from free radical damage.
Carvalho C, Moreira PI, Oxidative Stress: A Major Player in Cerebrovascular Alterations Associated to Neurodegenerative Events.Front Physiol. 2018 Jul 3;9:806.
Saharan S, Mandal PK. The emerging role of glutathione in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;40(3):519-29.
Song J, Kang SM, Lee WT, Park KA, Lee KM, Lee JE.Glutathione protects brain endothelial cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress by increasing nrf2 expression.Exp Neurobiol. 2014 Mar;23(1):93-103.
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