Find out which fruit could lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) accounts for up to 80% of dementia cases and might become an epidemic in the coming years. Since there is no remedy for dementia, prevention and risk mitigation are top priorities.
Research has shown that AD neuropathology develops many years before clinical dementia, i.e., during midlife.
Even metabolic disturbances becomes prominent during midlife and triggers chronic inflammation in many human organs, including the brain.
This extended preclinical phase of accelerating AD pathology presents an opportunity for intervention to lower the risk of progressive cognitive decline.
The evidence regarding the beneficial effects of berry fruits, especially strawberries, on cognitive performance and metabolic function is accumulating.
In a recent study published in the Nutrients Journal, researchers investigated whether strawberry supplementation mitigates the risk for late-life dementia in middle-aged people.
They conducted a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial among overweight [body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m²] men and women aged 50 to 65 with mild cognitive deficits to assess how following a 12-week strawberry supplement regimen changed their neurocognitive and mood measures.
Additionally, this trial assessed whether strawberry supplementation improved the anthropometric and metabolic parameters of the study participants.
There were fewer intrusion errors on the California Verbal Learning Test after 12 weeks of strawberry supplementation, representing the better performance of the study group with respect to verbal learning and memory over the placebo.
Notably, the inability to recover from semantic interference on word list learning tests is an early biomarker of AD neuropathology in older adults.
Moreover, the strawberry-treated group exhibited lower depressive symptoms and mood disturbances, suggesting improved emotional coping capability and lowered stress levels. It also reflected significant improvements in their executive abilities, i.e., enhanced ability to manage everyday activities and social relationships.
Future trials should investigate whether strawberry supplements show similar health and neurocognitive benefits over varying intervention periods and dosages in larger study samples.