Dementia: Romina strawberries may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s finds new study

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Dementia is a destructive set of symptoms associated with brain decline, such as memory loss. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, which is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins, such as beta-amyloid, in and around brain cells. One of the primary goals of research is to find ways of reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid clumps in the brain.

New research focused on the bioactive components of the strawberry variety Romina has shown their ability to reduce beta-amyloid aggregation in the brain.

The Romina strawberry variety stands out for its high adaptability to non-fumigated soils and open field cultivation in climatic conditions from the Adriatic to central-northern Europe and for its resistance to diseases, in addition to being recognised for its nutritional quality and early ripening.

The study verified the richness of the strawberry extract used in the study in terms of its content in phenolic compounds.

The authors of the study pointed out that, despite the health benefits of strawberry intake, information on the relationship of this fruit with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is limited.

This is not the first study to suggest the brain-boosting benefits of strawberries.

A 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients determined older adults may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s dementia by increasing their intake of strawberries.

Older adults may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s dementia by increasing their intake of strawberries, as determined by researchers at Rush University.

Puja Agarwal and her team analysed data collected for the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) between 2004 and 2018.

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After reviewing the complete data of 925 participants’ annual food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) and extensive neurological evaluations, an association between frequent strawberry consumption and decreased Alzheimer’s dementia emerged.

Participants were 58-98 years old and dementia-free at the start of the study.

The 144-item FFQ had a question specific to strawberries, allowing the researchers to estimate the frequency of strawberry intake by each participant.

Participants indicated whether they ate strawberries never or less than once a month; one to three times/month; once per week; or two to four times/week.

In addition to answering a FFQ, participants underwent annual neurological exams based on a three-stage process including computer scoring of cognitive tests, clinical judgment by a neuropsychologist, and diagnostic classification by a clinician.

Strawberry intake ranged from not at all to two servings/week. The team found that for every one serving increase in strawberry consumption, there was a 24 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia associated.

The outcome controlled for age, sex, education, physical activity, participation in cognitive activities, Apo-E4 status, dietary intake of other fruits, total calorie intake, other foods associated with better cognition including leafy green vegetables and seafood, cardiovascular conditions, and total vitamin E intake).

Overall, participants consuming one or more servings of strawberries per week had a 34 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia when compared to those consuming none or less than once per month.

Alzheimer’s disease – symptoms to spot

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly over several years.

Sometimes these symptoms are confused with other conditions and may initially be put down to old age.

The rate at which the symptoms progress is different for each individual.

In some cases, other conditions can be responsible for symptoms getting worse.

“In the early stages, the main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory lapses,” explains the NHS.

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