For the very first time scientific research has demonstrated that the consumption of beet juice has the ability to heighten blood flow to the brain in older adults. This new discovery could hold the possibility in battling dementia from advancing.
Beet juice has already been shown to reduce blood pressure in numerous note-worthy studies. Dr. Daniel Kim-Shapiro, director of Wake Forest University Translational Science Center, Foresting Independence in Aging stated they had wanted to demonstrate that beet juice can also heighten blood flow to the brain. In the brain there are sections that become poor in blood flow as you become older. It is believed that is linked with dementia and poor cognition.
Beets, celery, cabbage and other leafy green vegetables like spinach contain high accumulations of nitrates, when you consume foods high in nitrates, the good bacteria contained within the mouth turn into nitrates. Research has discovered can aide in opening the blood vessels in the body, heighten blood flow and oxygen particularly to areas that are lacking in oxygen.
The first step in the study was to locate an association between consumption of nitrate rich beet juice and heightens blood flow to the brain. Researchers had observed how the nitrates from the diet influenced 14 adults aged 70 and older for a length of four days.
For the first day, the participants reported to the laboratory after fasting for ten hours, filled out a health status report and then either consumed a high or low nitrate breakfast. The high nitrate breakfast had contained 16 ounces of beet juice. For lunch, dinner and snacks they were sent home with foods fitting their designated diets.
The following day after another 10 hour fast, participants returned to laboratory to consume their designated breakfast. One hour after breakfast, the blood flow was recorded in each one’s brain by using MRI. Blood tests taken before and after breakfast provided confirmation of nitrate levels.
On day three and four, researchers had switched the diets and used the same process again.
The MRI’s had revealed that after consuming a high nitrate diet, participants had an increased blood flow to the white matter of the frontal lobes which are the parts of the brain usually linked with degeneration that advances to dementia and other types of cognitive conditions.
Dr. Gary D. Miller, associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science and one of the senior researchers, concludes that he believes the findings are constant and inspiring. Knowing that a proper diet containing many fruits and vegetables can add to overall good health.
In order to make the beet juice taste better since it is bitter at times, in order for many persons to consume it and obtain benefits, the university has worked with a company to develop a new beet juice based beverage. Currently the university is checking into ways on how to market this beverage.
The National Institutes of Health was a contributor for this research study.
Herbs that have been noted to aide in prevention
ba wei di huang wan (BDW)
A Chinese herbal medicine used for over 2,000 years in Asia can decrease the influence of dementia.
In order to examine the effectiveness of BDW in improvements of mental abilities with persons who already suffer from dementia, 33 patients with mild to severe forms had taken either BDW or a placebo for eight weeks. Average age of patients was 84 and they had no knowledge as to what they were taking.
All patients had dementia for an average of five years. At the end of the eight weeks researchers had recorded that patients who took BDW had shown major improvement in mental functioning and being able to finish daily activities.
They also demonstrated faster ability in actions and responses to caregivers. None of the patients had shown any side effects.
Sage has always been acknowledged to heighten memory. The acids camosic and rosmarinic are the antioxidants in the herb. They aide in protection of the brain from oxidative damage. It also has the ability to slow down progression of the disease.
Ginseng is noted as one of the most valuable herbs around. Ginseng heightens memory and energy.
Acknowledged for its ability to provide protection for the brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research has substantiated the ingredients in the herb get rid of the free radicals that cause damage to the brain. This active ingredient is carnosic acid. It protects the brain from stroke that is caused by toxins and free radicals.
Green Tea is another valuable herb. The antioxidants in the herb aides in prevention of memory loss by eliminating the free radicals that are libel for degeneration of the healthy cells in the brain.
This is a combination of two herbs Angelica Archangelica and Geranium sylvaticum.
Research has demonstrated that the combination of these two herbs have a co-acting effect on levels of neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The neurotransmitter is vital for the memory and low levels of acetylcholine are linked to dementia.
It can be used in dementia cases of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
A chemical produced from the plant Huperzia serrata, holds the possibility of improving memory as noted in several studies done in China. The regular dose is 200mcg twice each day. Do not take this herb if you have liver disease or about to have surgery.
Medical News Today
Go Herbal Remedies
University of Maryland Medical Center