Scientific Breakthrough: Could Drinking This Cause Alzheimer’s?

Scientific Breakthrough: Could Drinking This Cause Alzheimer’s?

Scientists may have linked a toxin found in certain freshwater lakes and reservoirs in the UK to Britain’s dementia epidemic.

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From The Daily Mail:

A poisonous toxin found in freshwater lakes and reservoirs across Britain could be fuelling the country’s dementia epidemic, scientists fear.

Researchers have found the first direct evidence that a chemical, produced by algae, might be linked to a range of devastating neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s and Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The toxin – sometimes a by-product of increasingly common blue-green algal bloom – has been found in seafood and plants, through which it is feared it enters the food chain.

Now experts have highlighted a growing body of evidence suggesting the toxin, called BMAA, could trigger brain disease in humans.

If the link is confirmed, the chemical would be the first major environmental factor linked to increasing rates of Alzheimer’s, which is predicted to affect more than one million Britons by 2050.

The latest research, revealed to The Mail on Sunday, shows:

  • Monkeys given a diet rich in BMAA developed an ‘Alzheimer’s-like illness’ after less than five months;
  • The brains of people who have suffered from Alzheimer’s and MND have been found to contain high levels of the compound, whereas those of healthy people do not;
  • High levels of dietary BMAA has been linked to astonishing rates of a neurodegenerative illness on the Pacific island of Guam;
  • Scientists in the US and France have spotted ‘clusters’ of rare MND in those living around lakes and lagoons contaminated with algal BMAA.

Although the link to the food chain has yet to be established, seafood including French mussels and oysters, and Portuguese cockles grown in estuaries have all been found to contain BMAA.

The toxin appears to be widespread in British inland waters, with blue-green algae samples from 12 freshwater lakes and reservoirs across England, Scotland and Wales testing positive.

This is definitely something to note!

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