These Nuts May Keep Alzheimer's at Bay

   |  Updated: October 23, 2014 15:00 IST

These Nuts May Keep Alzheimer's at Bay
One of the healthiest nuts, walnuts have long been known for their health benefits. With high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, they are good for the heart and brain health. A new study led by an Indian-origin researcher, Abha Chauhan, sheds light on the benefits of including walnuts in your daily diet.

According to this study which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, eating walnuts every day may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease significantly. In fact, it may delay the onset, slow the progression and even prevent Alzheimer's disease all together.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. So far, the causes and cure of this disease have remained obscure, but this new study gives a new lease of hope. "Our study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates the protective effects of walnuts on cognitive functioning," said Abha Chauhan from the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR).

Reseachers examined the effects of dietary supplementation on mice with six percent and nine percent walnuts, that is equivalent to one ounce (28.3 gram) and 1.5 ounces (42.5 gram) per day, respectively. They found significant improvement in learning skills, memory and motor development in mice who were fed a walnut-enriched diet.They suggest that the high antioxidant content of walnuts (3.7 mmol/ounce) may have been a contributing factor in protecting the mouse's brain from the degeneration typically seen in Alzheimer's disease.

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This research stemmed from a previous cell culture study led by Chauhan that highlights the protective effects of walnut extract against the oxidative damage caused by amyloid beta protein. Oxidative stress and inflammation are prominent features of this disease. The protein is the major component of amyloid plaques that form in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease.

"These findings are very promising and could help lay the groundwork for future human studies on walnuts and Alzheimer's disease - a disease for which there is no known cure," Chauhan added.

CommentsWith inputs from IANS

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