Walnuts just may reduce, delay, slow down or prevent the disease
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 60. Estimates show as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Previous in vitro studies have shown that walnut extract can inhibit amyloid-β (Aβ) fibrillization, can solubilize its fibrils, and has a protective effect against Aβ-induced oxidative stress and cellular death.
In this new study Dr. Abha Chauhan PhD, Head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York and lead researcher of this study along with colleagues examined he effect of dietary supplementation with walnuts on learning skills, memory, anxiety, locomotor activity, and motor coordination in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
For the study mice were fed custom-mixed diets containing six percent of walnuts or nine percent of walnuts, which are equivalent to 1 ounce and 1.5 ounces per day, respectively, of walnuts in humans. The control group consisted of wild-type mice that were fed a diet without walnuts.
All groups of mice were examined at the ages of 13 to 14 months by Morris water maze that tests for spatial memory and learning ability, T maze for position discrimination learning ability, rotarod for psychomotor coordination and elevated plus maze for anxiety-related behavior.
The mice in the control group showed memory deficit, anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability, and motor coordination compared to the mice on the walnut supplemented diet.
The mice who received the diets with six or nine percent of walnuts showed a significant improvement in memory, learning ability, anxiety, and motor development compared to mice on the control diet.
There was no statistically significant difference in behavioral performance between the mice on walnuts-enriched diets and the control group mice.
Dr. Chauhan commented “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.” “Our study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates the protective effects of walnuts on cognitive functioning.”
Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.
Walnuts contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and an excellent source of omega=3 essential fatty acids. Are a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Dietary Supplementation of Walnuts Improves Memory Deficits and Learning Skills in Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 42, Number 4 / 2014 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-140675