EATING blueberries and other purple fruit and vegetables can keep Alzheimers at bay because they are a rich source of chelators, scientists say. Chelators bind the loosely configured iron molecules in the body and prevent them from producing dangerous toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, which trigger degenerative illnesses like Alzheimers. Prof Douglas Kell, a bioanalytical scientist at the University of Manchester, led the ground-breaking research, reports the journal Archives of Toxicology. Kell argues that the means by which poorly-liganded (banded) iron accelerates the onset of debilitating diseases shows up areas in which the traditional thinking is flawed. For instance, Vitamin C is thought to be of great benefit to the bodys ability to defend itself against toxins and diseases. However, Kell indicates that excess vitamin C can in fact have the opposite effect if unliganded iron is present. Only when iron is suitably and safely bound ('chelated) will vitamin C work. Kell said: 'Much of modern biology has been concerned with the role of different genes in human disease. 'The importance of iron may have been missed because there is no gene for iron as such. What I have highlighted in this work is therefore a crucial area for further investigation, as many simple predictions follow from my analysis, he said. Sify