A new study from researchers at the university of Illinois has shown that a nutrient, called lutein, found in eggs, spinach, kale and avocado could keep your brain cognitively fit and slow the brain ageing process.
Results in line with previous research
This results of this new study is in line with previous research published in the Journals of Gerontology that showed more lutein was associated with a decreased risk of dementia.
The researchers at the University of Illinois looked at 60 adults with ages of between 25 and 45 and discovered that those with higher levels of lutein in their bodies had neural responses closer to that of their younger counterparts than their peers.
Research has shown that the process of brain decline can start earlier than expected
The participants in this study were much younger than those in previous similar research which focused on older adults after there had already been a period of decline.
Anne Walk, first author of the paper, said:
“As people get older, they experience typical decline.
“However, research has shown that this process can start earlier than expected. You can even start to see some differences in the 30s.
“We want to understand how diet impacts cognition throughout the lifespan.
“If lutein can protect against decline, we should encourage people to consume lutein-rich foods at a point in their lives when it has maximum benefit."
It is important to understand that the body cannot make lutein on its own, this means that it must be consumed as part of your diet, through eating lutein rich foods or by way of a supplement.
Lutein appears to have a protective role in the brain
Lutein collects in brain tissue, as well as in the eye, so this makes it quite easy to measure levels.
Walk further added:
“The neuro-electrical signature of older participants with higher levels of lutein looked much more like their younger counterparts than their peers with less lutein.
“Lutein appears to have some protective role, since the data suggest that those with more lutein were able to engage more cognitive resources to complete the task."
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.