A recent study by researchers at Illinois University finds that lutein, a nutrient found in leafy green could slow down cognitive aging. According to the findings of the study, the nutrient possesses some qualities that could prevent cognitive aging. It is also reported that the nutrient is perfect for individuals who are trying to keep fit. Lutein which is commonly found in leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach can also be found in other categories of food like eggs and avocados.
A recent report by Science Daily states that the study was conducted on 60 adults who were between the age of 25 and 45. The researchers found that middle-aged participants who had higher levels of lutein experienced neural responses that were similar to that of younger individuals, compared to those who had lower lutein levels.
“Now there’s an additional reason to eat nutrient-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, and avocados. We know these foods are related to other health benefits, but these data indicate that there may be cognitive benefits as well,” professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois, Naiman Khan said.
According to Medical Express, while previous studies on the topic have only focused only on older individuals, who had already passed through the period of decline, the current study focused on middle aged adults. It is reported that these enabled the researchers to check if there was a clear difference between the cognitive aging process of individuals who had lower lutein levels and those whose levels were high.
The first author of the study, Anne Walk noted that people usually experience a decline when they get older and the findings of the current study have shown that the process might commence earlier than expected, sometimes, as early as the 30s. She went ahead to state that the study authors primarily wanted to know how the diet people consume impacts on cognition throughout their lifespan. She concluded by encouraging individuals to consume food that is rich in lutein during the periods when it is needed the most.
Other reports suggest that lutein is a nutrient that mostly accumulates in the eye and brain tissues. This made it easier for the researcher to measure the levels of lutein in the eye even without relying on any invasive technique. The participants were made to perform a task that tested attention while the authors used electrodes on their scalp to measure neural activity in the brain. The researchers found that participants with higher lutein levels were able to engage more cognitive resources in completing the task. The researchers published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
The researchers found that participants with higher lutein levels were able to engage more cognitive resources in completing the task. The researchers published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.