Why Worry about Oxidative Stress?
Some of these antioxidants work in a team, like on a production line. One of the body’s main antioxidant teams is SOD, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. SOD turns oxygen free radicals into hydrogen peroxide. Glutathione and catalase then break hydrogen peroxide down into harmless water and oxygen.
In Down syndrome, SOD is overproduced because it’s code is on chromosome 21. The codes for the two other members of it’s team, however, are located on other chromosomes, so they are not produced enough to keep up with the overproduction of SOD. That means that the assembly line for removing free radicals is constantly being overloaded by hydrogen peroxide, a highly damaging substance that causes cell death, rapid aging, and a shorter lifespan.
Decreasing oxidative stress by balancing the three enzymes SOD, glutathione, and catalase is just one way a child or an adult with Down syndrome can have better lifelong health.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers’s disease causes memory loss, loss of skills such as writing or reading, and can increase anxiety and behavior issues. Prevention is key - but even people who are already showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from herb and nutrient therapies targeted at reducing beta-amyloid plaque formation and decreasing inflammation in the nervous system.
What Else Can We Do?
- Protection from leukemia, a life-threatening cancer common in DS
- Prevention and treatment of upper respiratory infections
- Support for depression, anxiety, and other mood issues
- Support for individuals with other diagnoses such as autism or ADHD
- Neurotransmitter balancing
- Improving thyroid function
- Identifying and improving common vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Support for GI problems like Celiac disease, constipation, and GERD
- General support for the whole family!
Why let your child or your loved one’s diagnosis prevent them from getting the best medical support possible? With the right care and the right therapies, people with Down syndrome can lead happier, longer, and healthier lives than ever before.
References and Further Reading
National Institute on Aging. Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome. US Department of Health and Human Services website. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-people-down-syndrome. July 23, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2017.
Erica Peirson, ND. New research for treating down syndrome. Naturopathic Doctor News & Review. http://ndnr.com/neurology/new-research-for-treating-down-syndrome/. September 20th, 2012. Accessed September 10, 2017.
Ira T. Lott, I.T. Lott. Antioxidants in Down syndrome. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)- Molecular Basis of Disease, 2012; 1822(5):657–663.
Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimers Association website. http://www.alz.org/dementia/down-syndrome-alzheimers-symptoms.asp. 2017. Accessed September 10, 2017.