Nutritional supplement with blueberries and green tea boosts elderly cognitive health

2014-02-07 07:26
A human brain

There are deep fears about the possibility of losing your mind as people age. Reports of the deteriorating cognitive health of many older people are always emerging. In order to lessen the chances of cognitive decline with aging there have been suggestions a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition may help. Recent research shows a potent nutritional supplement may just do the trick in helping to protect cognitive functioning in the elderly.

Interventions which are aimed at improving the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance, reports Rejuvenation Research. In a new study researchers tested a potent pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. This pill contained:

1: Blueberry

2: Carnosine

3: Green tea

4: Vitamin D3

5: Biovin

In this research there were one hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65 to 85 years of age. The participants received the NT-020 or a placebo. They were than tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests which were classified into six broad domains, including:

1: Episodic memory

2: Processing speed

3: Verbal ability

4: Working memory

5: Executive functioning

6: Complex speed at baseline and two months later

It was indicated by the results that people taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across a two month test period in comparison to people taking the placebo whose performance was not changed. NT-020 was found to be well tolerated by older adults. The presence of adverse events or symptoms was not observed to be different between the NT-020 and placebo groups. The results of the current study were promising overall and have suggested the potential for interventions such as these to improve the cognitive health of older adults.

With normal aging declines in the underlying brain skills which are needed to think, remember and learn are normal, reports the University of South Florida, Tampa. As a matter of fact, unfortunately this cognitive decline is simply a fact of life for many elderly Americans. Therefore, it is critically important to find therapies to improve the cognitive health of older adults to help lessen declines in mental performance as people age.

Physical activity and cognitive training have been among the efforts which are aimed at preventing or delaying cognitive decline. Recently dietary modifications and supplements have also generated a great deal of interest. A recent study from the University of South Florida (USF) shows that a formula made up of nutrients which are high in antioxidants and other natural components helped boost the speed at which the brains of elderly adults processed information. The USF researchers developed the nutritional supplement NT-020 which contains extracts from blueberries and green tea along with vitamin D3 and amino acids.

Researchers Paula Bickford, PhD, and Brent Small, PhD, from the University of South Florida, worked together to investigate the effects which the USF-developed, antioxidant-rich nutritional supplement had on the cognitive performance of older adults. Small said, “After two months, test results showed modest improvements in two measures of cognitive processing speed for those taking NT 020 compared to those taking placebo.” Early in the course of cognitive aging processing speed is most often affected.

Blueberries, which are a major ingredient in the NT-020 formula, are very rich in polyphenols, which is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic, or natural phenol substructure. Bickford said, “The basis for the use of polyphenol-rich nutritional supplements as a moderator of age-related cognitive decline is the age-related increase in oxidative stress and inflammation.” Bickford has explained that polyphenols are the most abundant modulators of oxidative stress and inflammation which are found in our diet. NT-020 is made up of 95 percent polyphenols.

I have witnessed a great deal of discomfort among the elderly due to fears of possibly losing their minds as they age. There is often a great deal of skepticism about reports that a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition can help the brain stay in shape as people age. However, elderly people who exercise and eat well appear to overall be much more fit in body and mind than others. This research showing the benefits of NT-020 for the aging mind is very significant. It is clearly good medicine to advise elderly people about the vital importance of exercise and eating well for the mind, while suggesting that some high quality supplements such as NT-020 may also be beneficial.

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