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The Toxin In Your Blood That Leads To Alzheimer’s

The Toxin In Your Blood That Leads To Alzheimer’s

When researchers compared the blood tests of people with Alzheimer’s disease with tests performed on healthy people, they were shocked to find quadruple amounts of a dangerous toxin in the Alzheimer’s folks. If you encounter this chemical, your brain may be in danger.

The case-control study analyzed blood from more than 160 people and discovered that, on average, a metabolite of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), the banned pesticide, was four times higher in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients.

“This is one of the first studies identifying a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” says researcher Allan Levey, M.D., Ph.D., director of Emory’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. “The magnitude of the effect is strikingly large — it is comparable in size to the most common genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s.”

Even though use of DDT is illegal in the U.S. today, it can persist in the environment and may be on food that is imported from other countries.

“We are still being exposed to these chemicals in the United States, both because we get food products from other countries and because DDE (a DDT metabolite) persists in the environment for a long time,” says researcher Jason Richardson.

The scientists think that in the brain, both DDT and DDE can lead to the buildup of the proteins that stimulate the formation of damaging plaque. The plaque, containing beta-amyloid, contributes to the brain destruction of Alzheimer’s.

In the U.S., DDT has been banned since 1972. In 2006, the World Health Organization advocated the use of DDT to fight mosquitoes in Africa that carry malaria.

Filed Under: Brain HealthEasy Health NewsMemory and Brain HealthMental and Cognitive HealthMind & Body

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About the Author: Carl Lowe has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.

Facebook Conversations

  • Shane

    Old people are more likely to have DDT in their blood than young people because they were exposed to a lot of it earlier in their lives.

  • Cheryl

    While living in Puerto Rico in the 1960′s I was exposed to DDT as a teenager as were my parents and three siblings. I am 67 years old and my mental acuity is quite good and have good recall. My parents are 94 years old and do not have signs of Alzheimers nor do my siblings. In 1994 I had specialized blood work and was found to have high levels of DDE (DDT metabolite more toxic than DDT). However, I am chemically sensitive and wonder if these exposures could have had an effect. As a teenager I could not tolerate perfumes, cigarette smoke, etc.