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By September 8, 2022No Comments
Cranberries in wooden bowl and on wooden table

DHA and cranberry preserve cognitive health, improve circulation

Omega-3 reduced chances for dementia

In prior studies, the omega-3 DHA showed promise in reducing chances for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in those with a greater genetic disposition to develop the condition. In this study, doctors wanted to more objectively measure the long-term status of DHA in the body by isolating DHA content in red blood cells. In 1,490 dementia-free participants, aged at least 65 years, who had fasted for 12 hours, researchers drew blood, and immediately froze the red blood cells.

Following up after a median 7.2 years, those who had the highest red-blood-cell levels of DHA at the initial blood draw were 49 percent less likely to have developed AD compared to those with the lowest DHA red blood cell levels. Those in the high-DHA group were also likely to survive AD-free for an average 4.7 additional years. Doctors said the study findings suggest a “robust association” between dietary DHA and preventing or delaying AD.

Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 12, nu14122408

Cranberry improved memory, brain nerve function

Cranberry contains antioxidant anthocyanins, flavonols, and other anti-inflammatory nutrients. In this study, 60 cognitively healthy people, aged 50 to 80, took a daily placebo or a cranberry powder supplement. Before and after treatment, doctors assessed cognition, brain function, and brain-nerve signaling.

After 12 weeks, those taking cranberry saw improvements in memory of everyday events, brain-nerve function, and increases in blood flow to areas of the brain that directly support cognition in older adults: the right entorhinal cortex, accumbens, and caudate.

In addition to the cognitive and circulatory benefits, those taking cranberry saw decreases in LDL cholesterol while levels of the beneficial cholesterol, HDL, remained stable. The placebo group did not improve in any of these measures.

Reference: Frontiers in Nutrition; 2022, Section: Psychology and Brain Health

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