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Eating More Iron "Binders" May Reduce the Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases

A new study by researchers at the University of Manchester has found that many degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may be linked to poorly bound iron. The study was published in the December 2010 issue of the Archives of Toxicology and highlighted the necessity of eating more foods that promote effective binding of iron.

The lead author of the study, Douglas Kell a professor of Bioanalytical Science at Manchester, found that poorly bound iron creates toxins in the body called hydroxyl radicals.

These hydroxyl radicals react with cells and tissues in the body in a way that can lead to degenerative diseases.

Although this is an early stage study, these preliminary findings suggest that eating more foods that can bind tightly to iron (called iron chelators) may reduce the risk of a long list of degenerative diseases.

Some of these foods include brightly colored vegetables, purple fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates and green tea. Previous studies have found a link between consumption of these foods and beverages and a reduction in a number of degenerative and chronic diseases.

Eating more colorful fruits and vegetables and drinking a cup or two of green tea every day is certainly a good health choice. Previous studies have shown that green tea may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, improve heart health and aid digestion.

Colorful fruits also have an impressive list of similar health benefits and are the main staple in the Mediterranean diet, an increasingly popular diet that has been shown to improve heart health, lower rates of obesity and a decrease the risk of overall mortality.

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