Grape, blueberry polyphenols
Doctors in this study included 215 healthy men and women, aged 60 to 70, with mild to advanced cognitive decline, excluding others with powerful recall abilities, those who consumed lots of polyphenols from fruits, tea, and dark chocolate, and those taking omega-3 supplements, all of which might improve memory. Participants took a placebo or 300 mg of polyphenol extract from grapes and blueberries, per day.
After six months, those taking polyphenols had improved their ability to recall random items from a list. Looking at participants with the most advanced cognitive decline, those in the polyphenol group were better able to recall the times, places, and emotions associated with events they had experienced.
Memory naturally declines with age. In this study, 90 men and women, aged 58 to 60, with age-related memory impairment took a placebo, or 600 mg or 900 mg of spearmint extract containing 24 percent total polyphenols.
After 90 days, compared to placebo, those taking the 900 mg dose of spearmint saw a 15 percent improvement in working memory— the ability to remember and evaluate information in order to make decisions or reach conclusions. Participants also saw a 9 percent improvement in spatial memory—the ability to remember one’s location or environment, a sort of cognitive map. The 900 mg group also reported better mood, ease of getting to sleep, and better alertness on waking.
Discussing the findings, doctors said they believe it is the antioxidant content of spearmint that may reduce cell damage in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory.
Reference: Journals of Gerontology; Biological and Medical Sciences; July 2018, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2018
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