Nutrient Mix May Help Improve Brain Health

An Abbott preclinical study suggests that eating a diet rich in key antioxidants and common nutrients may slow age-related memory decline.

Nearly everyone knows a family member, friend, or loved one who has been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Because the disorder affects memory, researchers have long searched for ways to slow the disease by strengthening brain health.   

Now a recent study by Abbott researchers suggests the secret to improving memory function may lie in your diet.

The analysis finds that a mix of antioxidants and everyday nutrients could help slow age-related memory decline linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.  

How Did it Work?

Abbott investigators fed aging mice several distinctive diets to study the association between nutrition and cognitive health.

After 16-weeks, researchers discovered the diets that included five key nutrients led to enhanced learning and increased memory recall among the mice, according to the research, published in Behavioral Brain Health. The five nutrients were: quercetin, natural Vitamin E, choline, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and folate.

What Happened?

Mice that ate the five nutrients in combination experienced reduced inflammation in their brain’s hippocampus, the brain region associated with memory formation. This suggests that eating such a blend of nutrients may reduce age-associated brain decline, thus slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, investigators concluded. 

How the Research Affects You.

Luckily for families, each of the five nutrients is found in common, everyday foods available at most grocery stores. Quercetin for example, can be found in apples and berries, while natural vitamin E is present in many nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Eggs or beef can be a good source of choline, while DHA is enriched in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Folate meanwhile can be found in foods such as avocados and beets. 

Abbott’s early research shows that consuming a diet rich in varied nutrients is not only good for your health today, but it could be key to your memory tomorrow.