Maybe it’s not just a coincidence that walnuts look like miniature human brains. A new study indicates that a diet including walnuts may help combat dementia.
The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found walnuts help reduce the risk, delay the onset, slow the progression of, and may even prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The research — led by Abha Chauhan, head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities — found mice fed a walnut-rich diet experienced significant improvements in learning skills, memory, and motor development. They also had lower anxiety levels.
"These findings are very promising and help lay the groundwork for future human studies on walnuts and Alzheimer's disease – a disease for which there is no known cure," said Chauhan. "Our study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates the protective effects of walnuts on cognitive functioning."
The researchers suggested that the high antioxidant content of walnuts may be a contributing factor in protecting the brain from the degeneration typically seen in Alzheimer's disease. Oxidative stress and inflammation are prominent features in this disease, which affects more than five million Americans.
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