Ashwagandha root extract may improve memory and cognitive functions
Institute of Pharmacological Technology (India), April 25, 2022
Compared to a placebo, adults supplemented with ashwagandha root extract had improved memory test scores, researchers in India found. Ashwagandha root has been a part of the medicinal traditions of Ayurveda as a memory aid, wrote researchers of a study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements. In this current study, the researchers conducted what they claimed to be the first trial that looked at “the clinical impact of ashwagandha on the cognitive deficits seen in mild cognitive impairment.” The study was conducted over eight weeks using a random-assignment, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. To be included in the study, participants had to be aged 35 or older, have subjective sumptoms of memory impairment, a previous diagnosis of early dementia or a score a certain amount in a mini-mental state examination, and the ability and willingness to provide informed consent. The ashwagandha root extract used in this study delivered in capsule form containing 300 mg of the aqueous extract. Study outcomes revealed that the ashwagandha group fared significantly better than baseline and the placebo group participants in terms of immediate and general memory test scores. There was also a great uptick in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed.
Sulforaphane Ameliorates Neurobehavioral Deficits and Protects Brain from Amyloid Beta Deposits
China Medical University and Hospital (Shenyang China), April 25, 2022
Research stated, “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly individuals and its effective therapies are still unavailable. This study was designed to investigate the neuroprotection of sulforaphane (SFN) in AD-lesion mice induced by combined administration of d-galactose and aluminium.” Research from China Medical University and Hospital stated “SFN ameliorated spatial cognitive impairment and locomotor activity decrease in Morris water maze and open field test, respectively. And attenuated numbers of amyloid (A) plaques in both hippocampus and cerebral cortex of AD-lesion mice were detected by immunohistochemistry. According to spectrophotometry and quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction results, a significant increase in carbonyl group level and obvious decreases in both activity and messenger RNA expression of glutathione peroxidase were found in brain of AD-lesion mice compared with control, but not in SFN-treated AD-lesion mice.” According to the news editors, the research concluded: “SFN ameliorates neurobehavioral deficits and protects the brain from A deposits and peroxidation in mice with Alzheimer-like lesions, suggesting SFN is likely a potential phytochemical to be used in AD therapeutics.”
New article outlines the characteristics of a ‘longevity diet’
University of Southern California, April 29, 2022
Examining a range of research from studies in laboratory animals to epidemiological research in human populations gives scientists a clearer picture of what kind of nutrition can offer the best chance for a longer, healthier life, said USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Professor Valter Longo. Longo and Anderson reviewed hundreds of studies on nutrition, diseases and longevity in laboratory animals and humans and combined them with their own studies on nutrients and aging. The analysis included popular diets such as the restriction of total calories, the high-fat and low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, vegetarian and vegan diets, and the Mediterranean diet. The article also included a review of different forms of fasting, including a short-term diet that mimics the body’s fasting response, intermittent fasting (frequent and short-term) and periodic fasting (two or more days of fasting or fasting-mimicking diets more than twice a month). In addition to examining lifespan data from epidemiological studies, the team linked these studies to specific dietary factors affecting several longevity-regulating genetic pathways shared by animals and humans that also affect markers for disease risk, including levels of insulin, C-reactive protein, insulin-like growth factor 1, and cholesterol.
Yoga may have health benefits for people with asthma
Cochrane Collaborative, April 26, 2022
A new Cochrane Review suggests that yoga may have a beneficial effect on symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, but effects on lung function and medication use are uncertain. The Review summarizes the results of randomised trials and has found evidence that practicing yoga might be able to improve asthma quality of life and symptoms to some extent. They found 15 randomised controlled trials which involved 1,048 men and women. Most of the trials were conducted in India, followed by Europe and the United States. The majority of participants had mild to moderate asthma for six months to more than 23 years. Six studies looked into the effects of breathing alone during yoga exercise, whilst the other studies assessed the effects of yoga that included breathing, posture and meditation.
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