Walnuts May Help Elderly Improve Memory

In an article published in The Times of India (25 April 2009), Walnuts may help improve memory in the elderly. This was according to researchers with the Human Nutrition Center on Ageing (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston.

Walnuts contain polyphenols and other anti-oxidants, as well as essential fatty acids.

Polyphenols are chemical compounds which are responsible for much of the color, taste and flavor to fruits, vegetables and seeds.

The brain goes through many processes as it ages. These changes result in impaired or changed neural functioning.

In the animal model study, the aged rodents displayed "poor performance on age-sensitive tests of balance, coordination, and spatial working memory."

The aged rats were weight-matched and then randomly assigned to one of four diet groups. The rodents were fed different food mixes that contained either two, six or nine percent walnuts, or zero walnuts, before going through motor and memory tests.

The rodents’ walnut diet (6 percent) is equal to a human eating around 7-9 nine walnuts a day. According to the report that amount "counts as both a two-ounce equivalent from the "meat and beans group" and two teaspoons toward a daily allowance of dietary oil, said a HNRCA release."

The authors of the study discovered that the agent rodents that were on diets containing 2-6 percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motive and cognitive deficiencies. Rodents on a 9 percent walnut diet also displayed memory improvement. 

Source: Times of India