During most of the years of life, it is normal for memory to function in optimal conditions. But as we get into old age, this function, like so many others, becomes somewhat affected.
For this reason, science has frequently sought to determine what are the factors that cause a person to be much more exposed to the loss of this capacity, and at the same time, what measures can be taken to prevent it.
now a investigation scientific published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shed light on the foods that could bring great benefits to combat age-related memory loss.
Led by researchers from Columbia University and Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the article identified that those who eat a diet low in flavonoids are at greater risk of facing memory loss in old age. Therefore, those who incorporate flavonoids into their diet are less likely to see their memories faded.
According to the LiveScience site, flavonoids correspond to a group of phytonutrients, that is, chemical substances that are in some vegetables. One encouraging piece of news is that there is a good variety of foods that are rich in flavonoids and are usually found in home kitchens.
Some of them are celery, apples, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, plums, tomatoes, and spinach. Likewise, flavonoids are present in tea, dark chocolate, nuts and red wine.
Additionally, the researchers suggest that all may not be lost for those with a flavonoid deficiency.
And it is that those who had very low levels of these substances and began to consume a daily dose of 500 mg, through supplements, were able to improve their memory considerably. This was measured through annual cognitive tests that showed that this improvement was maintained for the three years that the study lasted.
Meanwhile, the participants who already had a diet high in flavonoids did not seem to have any type of greater effect from the supplements.
Scott Small, a neurology scholar at Columbia University, said that identifying essential nutrients “for the proper development of an infant’s nervous system was a crowning achievement of 20th-century nutrition science.”
And currently, according to Small, new studies allow us to understand that “different nutrients are needed to strengthen our aging minds”.
“Our study, which is based on biomarkers of flavonoid consumption, can be used as a model by other researchers to identify additional necessary nutrients,” the expert concluded.
To carry out the study, the scientific team randomly chose 3,500 older adults who could receive flavonoid supplements for a period of three years. Many of them identified as “non-Hispanic and white.”
One of the essential steps in the research was for people to answer a survey that revealed the main foods in their diets. The group also had to undergo various cognitive tests that allowed short-term memory to be measured.
Then they gave one group daily flavonol supplements and others were given a placebo, a dummy pill. By the end of the first year, the researchers found that memory improved slightly for all of the participants who had taken the flavonol supplement.
However, in that same group were individuals who had low levels of flavonoids. In them, their memory scores increased by up to 10.5% when compared to those who had received placebo, in addition to 16% when compared to their own memory at the beginning of the investigation.
Other scientists are somewhat divided on the results of the Columbia and Harvard study. This is the case of Carl Hodgetts, an academic at the University of London, who rescued that it was an “interesting” article.
However, Hodgetts took issue with the suggestion that flavonoids in supplements could impact hippocampal function. From his perspective, more MRIs are required to conclude it.
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