A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati in the United States, and published in the scientific journal Nutrients, concluded that daily consumption of strawberries may help reduce the risk of dementia in some middle-aged populations.
The new work is an extension of another study that proved that daily consumption of blueberries can reduce the chances of developing dementia in old age.
“Both strawberries and raspberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, such as metabolic and cognitive improvements,” said Robert Krikorian, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College. Medicine, in a statement. “There is epidemiological data to suggest that people who regularly consume strawberries or blueberries have a slower rate of cognitive decline as they age.”
In middle age, many people often develop insulin resistance, a condition associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes. According to Krikorian, previous studies have already demonstrated the metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of strawberry consumption, however, few studies have analyzed their cognitive effects.
A total of 30 patients aged between 50 and 65 years, who were overweight and complained of mild cognitive decline, participated in the study. According to Krikorian, people with this profile have an increased risk of developing late-onset dementia and other common conditions.
Over the course of 12 weeks, volunteers received a daily packet of the powdered supplements to mix with water and eat at breakfast. Half of the participants received powders containing the equivalent of a cup of whole strawberries (the standard serving), while the other half received a placebo. They were instructed not to eat fresh red fruits so as not to affect the results of the study.
Participants took tests that measured certain cognitive abilities, such as long-term memory. The researchers also monitored mood, severity of depression symptoms, and metabolic data throughout the study, before and after taking the supplements.
Volunteers who received strawberry supplements showed improved memory and significantly reduced depressive symptoms, which, according to Krikorian, can be understood as a result of “improved executive ability that would provide better and potentially better emotional control and coping.” solving problems.”
Other studies on strawberries have found improvements in metabolic measures, including decreased insulin, but no effect on the metabolic health of patients was found in this study.
“These studies have generally used higher doses of strawberry powder than our research, and this may have been a factor,” Krikorian said.
Although more research is needed, Krikorian said strawberry therapy may have improved cognitive function by reducing inflammation in the brain.
“Executive abilities begin to decline in middle age, and excess abdominal fat, as in insulin resistance and obesity, will tend to increase inflammation, including in the brain,” he said. “Therefore, our middle-aged, overweight, pre-diabetic sample could be considered to have higher levels of inflammation that contributed to at least mild impairment in executive abilities. Thus, the beneficial effects we observed may be Associated with moderate inflammation in the strawberry group.
Moving forward, Krikorian said future research trials should include larger samples of participants and different doses of strawberry supplements.
Credits: O Globo.
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