A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that a chemical found in celery can help to reduce brain inflammation which may have a vital role to play in the treatment of neurological diseases and auto-immune system disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

The chemical compound in question is a specific flavonoid called Luteolin (which is also found in green peppers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach and thyme) has a powerful effect on excessive brain inflammation according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This brain inflammatory response when controlled is not bad for the body - in fact it performs a vital role in organising the body's immune system enabling to fight of germs or infection etc. helping to prevent us from getting sick. But when the response goes wrong or is heightened for a prolonged period of time then that is when it proves detrimental as it can diminish learning and memory and cause nerve cells to self destruct.

In two separate experiments researchers firstly took microglia cells (which are vital to immune defence) from rats and exposed them to harmful bacteria cells. They then exposed these cells to the luteolin compounds and noted that the excessive inflammation observed was reduced.

Secondly, they laced another group of rats drinking water with luteolin for three weeks before injecting the rats with a bacteria known to cause inflammation in the brain. Within only four hours after injecting the rats with the bacterium the amount of inflammation in the brain (particularly in the hippocampus region - an area that is vital for memory storage and often affected by Alzheimer's disease) had already reduced.

The researchers attribute these reductions to luteolin and one of the researchers involved in the study remarked that "This was just about as potent an inhibition as anything we had seen previously” and that "if you had the potential to decrease the production of inflammation in the brain you could potentially limit the cognitive deficits that result."

Of course more research needs to be done, but this is another truly exciting finding that proves the effects that changes in diet (like the ones I cover in The Alzheimer's Alternative) can have on not only on maintaining normal brain function but on reversing changes that may already be taking place.

In the meantime, I usually recommend 4 sticks of celery a day - cooked or raw it doesn't matter - as a starting point to better health!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Steffan H. Abel D.C. has been involved in Chiropractic and healthcare research for over 20 years. He has run his own successful practice in the north of England for the last 19 years. During which time he has treated over 10,000 patients and given over 100,000 treatments. He has lectured and taught extensively in both Europe and America to students, chiropractors and medical doctors.

He has studied Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and qualified as a Life Coach. He has also studied various Chiropractic-based treatments (gaining a M.Sc. in post graduate Clinical Chiropractic in 2003) as well as energy therapies such as Seichem and Reiki. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors and a Fellow of the Association of Osteomyology and in 2007 became a Fellow of the European Academy of Chiropractic.

In his spare time he spends between 15 and 25 hours per week researching all areas of “alternative” and allopathic healthcare in order to bring the best advice to his patients through his practice and writing and has just finished his latest book The Alzheimer's Alternative (www.alzheimersalternative.com). When not working he is to be found enjoying life with Sue, his partner, – whom he loves tremendously!

Additional Resources covering Alzheimers can be found at:

Website Directory for Alzheimers
Articles on Alzheimers
Products for Alzheimers
Discussion Board
Dr. Steffan H. Abel, the Official Guide to Alzheimers