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  • "How to Slow Brain Aging By Two Years"

  • A plant-based diet is thought to have played a significant role in human evolution.

  • And the consumption of whole plant foods and even just extracts

  • has repeatedly been associated with a decreased risk of aging related diseases.

  • And by healthy aging I’m not talking preventing wrinkles.

  • What about protecting our brain?

  • Two of the most dreaded consequences of dementia with aging

  • are problems moving around and difficulty remembering things.

  • Dementia robs older adults of their independence, control, and identity.

  • What can we do about it?

  • Well, fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of other chronic diseases,

  • might they work for brain diseases as well?

  • There has been a proliferation of recent interest

  • in plant polyphenols as agents in the treatment of dementia.

  • There are 4,000 different kinds found ubiquitously

  • in foods of plant origin, but berries are packed with them,

  • possessing powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties,

  • and there’s a subset of a subset called anthocyanidins,

  • natural blue-purple pigments uniquely and specifically capable

  • of both crossing the bloodbrain barrier

  • and localizing inside brain regions involved in learning and memory.

  • And that’s where we need it.

  • The brain takes up less than like 2% of the body weight,

  • but may burn up to 50% of the body’s fuel,

  • creating a potential firestorm of free radicals.

  • So maybe these brain-seeking phytonutrients in berries

  • could fight oxidation, inflammation, and increase blood flow.

  • So, this raised a thought-provoking idea.

  • Maybe a nutritional intervention with blueberries

  • may be beneficial in forestalling or even reversing

  • the neurological changes associated with aging.

  • So did researchers give blueberries to people and see what happened?

  • No, as I noted in an earlier video, they gave blueberries to rats.

  • It would be a decade before the first human trial.

  • But it worked!

  • "Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults"

  • suggesting that consistent supplementation with blueberries

  • may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate

  • brain degeneration with age.

  • What other blue/purple foods can we try?

  • Concord grape juice had a similar benefit,

  • improving verbal learning,

  • suggesting that supplementation with purple grape juice

  • may enhance cognitive function in older adults with early memory decline.

  • Why use juice and not whole concord grapes?

  • Because then you couldn’t design a placebo

  • that looked and tasted exactly the same

  • to rule out the very real and powerful placebo effect.

  • And also, because it was funded by the Welch’s grape juice company.

  • This effect was confirmed in a follow-up study ,

  • showing for the first time an increase in neural activation

  • in parts of the brain associated with memory using functional MRI scans.

  • But this brain scan study was tiny, just 4 people in each group.

  • And same problem in the blueberry study

  • it just had 9 people in it.

  • Why haven’t large population-based studies been done?

  • Because we haven’t had good databases

  • on where these phytonutrients are found.

  • We know how much vitamin C is in a blueberry,

  • but not how much anthocyanidin, ...until now.

  • The Harvard Nurse’s Health Study

  • followed the cognitive function of more than 16,000 women for years,

  • and found that higher, long-term consumption of berries

  • was associated with significantly slower rates of cognitive decline

  • in this cohort of older women,

  • even after careful consideration of confounding by socioeconomic status,

  • meaning even after taking into account the fact that rich people eat more berries.

  • The first population-based evidence that greater intakes

  • of blueberries and strawberries were highly associated

  • with slower rates of cognitive decline,

  • and not just by a little bit.

  • The magnitude of associations were equivalent

  • to the cognitive differences that one might observe

  • in women up to 2 and a half years apart in age.

  • In other words, women with higher intake of berries

  • appeared to have delayed cognitive aging by as much as 2 1/2 years.

  • Why not just take some kind of anthocyanidin supplement?

  • Because there hasn’t been a single study that found any kind of cognitive benefit

  • just giving these single phytonutrients. In fact the opposite.

  • Whole blueberries appear to be more effective than individual components,

  • showing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • These findings potentially have substantial public health implications,

  • as increasing berry intake represents a fairly simple dietary modification

  • to test in older adults for maintaining brain function.

"How to Slow Brain Aging By Two Years"

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脳の老化を2年で遅らせる方法 (How to Slow Brain Aging by Two Years)

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    Precious Annie Liao に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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