by Kimberly Allen R.N.
ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive, terminal motor neuron disease. It is characterized by the degeneration of the neurons that control the movement of voluntary muscles. As these neurons deteriorate and die the nerves are unable to send or receive messages to the muscles causing the muscles to weaken and waste away.
Though no exact cause has been determined there is a lot of research that point to an imbalance between our natural antioxidant system and the amount of free radicalsroaming in our bodies. Free radicals are super charged molecules with unpaired electrons in it’s outer sphere. The free radicals cause damage by attacking the different proteins, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates and DNA of the cells and tissues. They produce excess, unneeded energy which causes damage to the cell membrane as well as other parts of the cell including the DNA. Normally the natural occurring antioxidant systemn in our body is able to “mop up” the free radicals preventing them from causing cell damage. If this system becomes impaired or damaged the free radicals accumulate causing damage to the cells. It is this process and damage that is believed to have a significant role in neurodegeneration. Researchers have found several factors that can lead to an imbalance in the antioxidant system, including alcohol abuse, air pollution, and leading a stressful lifestyle. Inappropriate nutrition was found to play a significant role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders like ALS. Research indicates that antioxidants slow the formation of free radicals and protect our body’s by repairing the damage to cells and tissue. However, to do this they need micronutrients like selenium, copper, iron, zinc, and manganese for optimal catalytic activity to produce effective antioxidant function. Researchers found that a food supplement that is high in antioxidant value can prevent or decrease the neurodegenerative changes that occur in the brain and spinal cord by improving the body’s own antioxidant system as well as adding extra antioxidants to the system.
The noni fruit has all the antioxidant vitamins, not just a few and in abundant supply. Noni also contains all the important trace minerals needed for optimal catalytic activity as well as important antioxidant enzymes necessary for the antioxidant defense system to be effective. Phytochemicals like glutathione, beta carotene and ascorbic acid also play a significant role in protecting against free radicals. Glutathione (GSH) has a direct role in elimminating free radicals. GSH is composed of the amino acids glutamic acid glycine and systeine. Noni contains over 150 phytochemicals as well as all the amino acids needed to form GSH in abundant supply. The noni also contains all the flavanoids. Flavanoids are known for their medicinal properties including antitumoural, anti-allergic, anti-ischemic, anti-hepatotoxic, antiinflammatory and anti ulcerative properties.
Neurodegenerative disorders continue to be a significant source of morbidity and suffering worldwide. Research has shown that an imbalance between the antioxidant system and free radicals plays a significant role in neurodegenerative disorders. Researchers have also found that the antioxidants and phytochemicals contained in the noni have a neutralizing effect on excess free radicals. Therefore the noni can have a significant ipact in treating neurodegenerative disorders like ALS.
Kimberly Allen is a registered nurse with an AND in nursing. She has worked in ACF, LCF and psychiatric facilities, although she spent most of her career as a home health expert. She is now a regular contributor to HealthAndFitnessTalk.com, dispensing advice and knowledge about medical issues and questions. You can reach her with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.