Science & Tech

Eating strawberries can reduce the risks of dementia, study finds

Eating strawberries can reduce the risks of dementia, study finds

A recent study has found that eating strawberries daily could reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati claim that by eating the fruit every day, certain people of middle age could reduce their risk of dementia.

The 12-week study published in Nutrientshad 30 overweight patients - who had complained of mild cognitive impairment - abstain from eating berries, aside from a daily packet of supplement powder mixed with water and consumed with breakfast.

Half of the participants, who were 50 to 65 years old, received a powder that contained the equivalent of one cup of whole strawberries (the standard serving size), whilst the other half received a placebo.

Participants' long-term memory, mood, and metabolic health were measured by researchers.

The team found that those who had taken the strawberry powder had performed better on a wordlist learning test, as well as having a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.

"Both strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been implicated in a variety of berry health benefits such as metabolic and cognitive enhancements," said Robert Krikorian, professor emeritus in the UC College of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience.

"There is epidemiological data suggesting that people who consume strawberries or blueberries regularly have a slower rate of cognitive decline with ageing."

Ellagitannins and ellagic acid are also found in strawberries, which are known to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties.

Krikorian went on to explain that strawberries may have improved cognitive function by reducing inflammation in the brain.

"Executive abilities begin to decline in midlife and excess abdominal fat, as in insulin resistance and obesity, will tend to increase inflammation, including in the brain," he explained.

The university did, however, acknowledge that Krikorian's research was partly funded by the California Strawberry Commission. Although said that the group had no role in the design of the study, data collection and analysis, or publication of the results.

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