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Diacetyl Involved In Causing Alzheimer’s Disease

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Diacetyl Involved In Causing Alzheimer’s Disease

According to a study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, a common diet ingredient, diacetyl, is involved in causing Alzheimer’s disease. This ingredient is found in a wide range of products such as popcorn, baked foods, candy, and it is used to give flavor to these foods. In fact, diacetyl found in these foods is not itself, but chronic exposure to this ingredient in the food industry. According to the study, exposure to diacetyl in the long run leads to neuronal toxicity.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease

Diacetyl, or 2,3-butanedione, is a natural result of fermentation and is found in alcoholic beverages. It can be used as a food additive in certain foods to enhance flavor. So far it was discussed the possible role  of diacetyl in respiratory infections. It was  noted that workers with chronic exposure to diacetyl have developed bronchiolitis obliterans. Interestingly, the respiratory disease occurred in healthy young men.

Now, a group of researchers led by Robert Vince and colleagues Swati More and Ashish Vartak, noted that diacetyl is involved in causing Alzheimer’s disease. It appears that diacetyl favors aggregation of beta amyloid plaques in the brain. Beta amyloid is a marker protein of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, researchers found that diacetyl increases toxicity of beta amyloid on neurons. Moreover, according to research, diacetyl is resistant to a protein (glyoxalase I) that  is involved in detoxification of harmful products and prevent beta amyloid clumping. Researchers said that: “In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA” .

Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly persons. There are two forms of Alzheimer’s disease: a form of early onset, more rare and which occurs in families, and late-onset form, the most common and which occurs sporadically. Alzheimer’s disease occurs primarily through forgetfulness. Once that occurs, the disease progresses and cognitive function can not be recovered. Other events that may appear are irritability, confusion, impaired perception, speech problems, etc.. There are several assumptions underlying Alzheimer’s disease: cholinergic hypothesis, which holds that Alzheimer’s is caused by a decreased synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Amyloid hypothesis holds that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by deposits of beta amyloid. Finally, tau protein hypothesis supports the idea that Alzheimer disease is caused by neurofibrillary tangles ( that develop inside neurons). Also, there are studies sustaining that  some metals such as aluminum are involved in the Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.