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Strawberry Consumption May Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Dementia New Research from Rush University

June 14, 2019
nutrition
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The Alzheimer’s Association indicates that one-third of seniors die from Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Potential contributors of these conditions are increased oxidative stress and inflammation that alter the brain. 

Strawberries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to improve neuronal function, cognition and motor function in animal models. A new study presented at Nutrition 2019 on June 9 in Baltimore suggests strawberries may have similar effects on humans.

The Research

Researchers at Rush University have determined, based on a prospective study using Memory and Aging Project (MAP) data, that strawberry intake may be associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Food frequency questionnaires and two annual neurological evaluations of 924 participants (mean age: 81.2 ± 7.2 years, mean education:15 ± 3 years) show that participants who consumed strawberries more than once per week were 32% less likely to develop Alzheimer's dementia (HR= 0.68, 95% CI: 0.48-0.97) compared with non-consumers.

Frequency of strawberry consumption was categorized as 0 for never/less than once a month; 0.15 for 1-3 times per month; 1.0 for once per week, and 2.0 for 2-4 times per week. The results were adjusted for age, sex, education, physical activity, participation in cognitive activities, dietary intake of other fruits, and total calorie intake. A total of 235 participants developed Alzheimer’s dementia over the mean follow-up of 6.5 (±3.6) years. Higher strawberry intake was associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia (HR= 0.76, 95% CI: 0.60-0.96). The associations remained after further adjustment for green leafy vegetable intake and APOE- ɛ4 status.

Conclusion

These results are exciting for anyone touched by Alzheimer's Disease because they may lay the groundwork for identifying the mechanistic basis for strawberries’ potential protective effects of cognition in aging adults.


Source: Agarwal, P., Wang, Y., Holland, T., Bennett, D.A., & Morris, M.C. (2019, June). Strawberry Consumption Associated with Reduced Alzheimer’s Dementia RiskPresented at flash poster session at Nutrition 2019 conference, Baltimore, MD.

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