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article imageOp-Ed: A key ingredient in popcorn is linked to Alzheimer's

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By Melissa Horrocks     Aug 9, 2012 in Food
Most people love popcorn and it is a treat often eaten by movie goers. However, popcorn may taste nice, but it is bad for a healthy diet and now it has been discovered that it could be linked to Alzheimer's.
The key ingredient in popcorn, diacetyl, makes popcorn taste and smell buttery, but it also may be connected to Alzheimer's disease, Fox News reported.
Scientists said they were researching the substance, because it's been connected with breathing and other health issues in employees at microwave popcorn and food - flavoring factories. According to UPI.com diacetyl is a flavor that is used to make the buttery taste and smell of microwave popcorn.
Diacetyl is also used in margarine, snack foods, baked goods, candy, pet foods and other items such as beer or even some types of chardonnay wine. Vince's team realized that diacetyl has building blocks similar to a substance that causes beta-amyloid proteins to clump together in the brain. This clumping is the key to understanding Alzheimer's disease.
The study was published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, it discovered that diacetyl raised the level of beta-amyloid clumping. Furthermore, the research discovered that at real-world occupational exposure levels, diacetyl also increased beta-amyloid's poisonous effect on nerve cells growing in the laboratory.
The reports appeared in the online edition of Chemical Research in Toxicology and on the website WebMD. Due to the harmful effects of working with diacetyl, many microwave popcorn makers have stopped using it, in their products. The effects were only observed in test tube studies and more research needs to be carried out in living animals, reports KTUL.com.
Over 150 firms are working in the Alzheimer's space, including nearly 15 multinationals and 30 generic companies. Many of these companies are taking innovative approaches to dealing with this severely disabling disease. In March, the USPTO permitted a patent for Antisenilin, developed by Intellect Neurosciences, reports Medical News Today.
My Grandmother died from Alzheimer's disease and I think any progress is worth its weight in gold. Seeing someone you love become someone entirely different, is very painful indeed. I have worked in care homes with people who had Alzheimer's. It is a condition that is demoralizing and strips away independence. It is always good to hear that results have been found in the way that Alzheimer's develops. Small steps often lead to bigger progress, in the end.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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More about Alzheimers Disease, Alzheimer, Alzheimers, Popcorn, Ingredient
 
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