In a recent global study, hemp seeds have been cited as a possible emerging Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
According to alz.org, Alzheimer’s affects 1 in 9 people in the United States. Furthermore, this disease is the fifth leading cause of death in people 65 and older. It is estimated that in 2015 alone, caregivers spent 18.1 billion unpaid hours caring for these individuals.
As a result, pharmaceutical companies have created an entire system of Alzheimer’s drugs. These drugs are not without extensive side effects. Thankfully, a new study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that hemp seeds may be a possible future Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
Hemp Seeds Identified as Possible Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment
The study titled, “Characterization of Lignanamides from Hemp (Cannabis sativa L. Seed and Their Antioxidant and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activities,” examined components of hemp seed. The researchers identified compounds that could be beneficial to our health. They found 10 noteworthy compounds, with both antioxidant and neurodegenerative inhibiting properties within these compounds.
While most of us are familiar with the health benefits of antioxidants, the neurodegenerative inhibiting properties are what is most curious about this study.
The main known function of neurodegenerative inhibitors in hemp seeds is to prevent, or slow down, the degradation of a specific neurotransmitter, called acetylcholine. The brain produces this specific neurotransmitter as it serves the function of proper memory.
When Alzheimer’s attacks nerve cells in the brain, acetylcholine breaks connections with other nerve cells and dies. The resulting deficit leads to memory loss. Therefore, it is crucial to slow down, or altogether stop, acetylcholine degradation when focusing on Alzheimer’s disease treatment. This new study shows us that hemp seed may be an answer.
Hemp Seeds as Neurodegenerative Inhibitors
Three of the compounds in hemp seeds discovered by scientist are especially relevant because they have the ability to act as neurodegenerative inhibitors. We do not yet know the effectiveness of treatments with hemp seeds. However, it is conceivable that this naturally-occurring seed could offer us an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Consequently, this creates a potential solution to the breadth of side effects caused by current synthetic treatments.
Many civilizations have known for ages of the wide variety of health benefits of hemp seeds. With the new findings of this study, we have even more reason to consume hemp seed as part of our daily diet.
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