Researchers at the University of Southern California, who have recently conducted a study on how diet can influence the development of Alzheimer's, are obtaining promising results. They specifically studied two plant-based compounds: epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a key ingredient in green tea, and ferulic acid (FA), found in carrots, tomatoes, rice, wheat, and oats.
The researchers analyzed the memory and thinking abilities of healthy mice and mice with Alzheimer's-like symptoms after administering them with both substances.
In one of the tests, the rodents had to complete a Y-shaped maze that tested their spatial memory (an ability humans use to exit a building), the team explained in a statement. The healthy mice were able to enter and exit the maze multiple times. Mice with brain disorders were unable to do so. The analysts then randomly grouped the mice into four different categories. The first group consumed a combination of EGCG and FA, the second group only ingested EGCG, the third group only consumed FA, and the fourth group was given a placebo.
"After three months, the combination treatment fully restored spatial working memory, and the mice with Alzheimer performed just as well as the healthy ones," said lead author Terrence Town.
Despite the results, the researchers noted that "many discoveries with mice never translate into treatments for humans." Nevertheless, they believe their findings are encouraging because they show that certain plant-based supplements can help protect against Alzheimer's.
“You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to hit the market; You can make these changes to your diet today!” Town said. "I find that very encouraging."
The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.