Another study adds to the growing evidence that pesticide exposure is linked to adverse health consequences. This latest study now links a specific pesticide to a higher risk and increased severity of Alzheimer's disease.
The pesticide responsible is DDT, which thankfully is now banned in most countries (although its effects are still being felt decades later, and will continue to cause environmental and health consequences for decades--maybe centuries--longer). Scientists have known for many years that
this synthetic pesticide is harmful to bird habitats and a threat to the environment.
These results demonstrate that more attention should be focused on environmental contributors and how they interact with genetic predisposition to certain diseases.
Metabolites of DDT were found in 70% of the control group and 80% of the group with Alzheimer's. This occurs because the chemical can take decades to breakdown in the environment, and people can be exposed to the pesticide by consuming imported fruits, vegetables, and grains where DDT
is still being used and eating fish from contaminated waterways.
The big difference between the groups, however, was that Alzheimer's patients had blood levels that were 3.8 times higher than the control group. Patients with a version of ApoE gene (ApoE4), which greatly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's, and high blood levels of the pesticide metabolites exhibited even more severe cognitive impairment than the patients without the risk gene.
Brain cell studies also found that the pesticide increased the amount of a protein associated with amyloid plaques, which are believed to be a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
This is more reason to support "real food" agriculture (in other words, organic agriculture). On a related note, Big Food has proposed (in the US) a bill to legally label genetically-engineered food as "natural." WTF?! How can anyone think that inserting a fish gene into a vegetable (for example) is natural?! If its proposal were to become law, it would become impossible for any state to require mandatory labeling of GE/GMO foods (which have a high load of pesticide residues). Click HERE and take 30 seconds to sign this petition to stop this diabolical plot.
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Source: Elevated Serum Pesticide Levels and Risk for Alzheimer Disease