Worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. In the U.S. alone, the disease impacts one out of every nine adults over the age of 65. And those numbers are only expected to increase with the aging global population.
However, recently published in Behavioral Brain Health, an Abbott-led pre-clinical animal study suggests that eating a diet rich in a blend of key antioxidants and other common nutrients may slow age-related memory decline which is associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
What the Study Found – Nutrients That Work Better Together
To examine the relationship between nutrition and cognitive health, Abbott researchers fed aging mice one of eight distinct diets, each consisting of different array of specific nutrients.
After a 16 week study, the researchers found that those mice whose diet included a combination of the five below nutrients enjoyed improved learning and memory recall:
While each of these nutrients come with their own unique benefits, eating them in combination reduces inflammation within the brain’s hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for memory formation, according to the study. This may help to reduce age-related brain decline and various forms of dementia.
What This Means for You
While this is early research it reinforces the importance of eating a varied diet. Over the course of the day, try to get in a mix of brightly colored fruits, vegetables and fish when you can. “Every day, we understand more about the impact nutrition has on healthy brain function from birth to our golden years,” says lead study investigator Tapas Das, Ph.D., senior scientist at Abbott. “We are learning that nutrition is critical for faster learning, recall and problem solving. And the best part is that nutrition is one factor we can each influence through our diet and every day choices.”