Cognitive functions tend to deteriorate with age, and science continues to look for ways to mitigate or delay this process. Some wellness tips include exercise, adequate rest, and of course, good nutrition.
Some foods are great allies in brain function. Now, new research suggests there is a vegetable that can significantly improve memory in people over 60.
We are talking about wasabi, famous for being the sweet and spicy condiment usually served with sushi. This vegetable, Also called Japanese hot radish, contains a bioactive compound: 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate or 6-MSITC – Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties..
A team of researchers from Tohoku University has set the goal of… positive effects of wasabi consumption on certain brain functions, such as episodic memory, processing speed, working memory and attention.
Twelve-week experimental phase.
To evaluate this, The team turned to 72 healthy volunteers between 60 and 80 years old. The participants were randomly divided into two groups. First, their cognitive functions were assessed before the start of the experimental period. After, They were asked to take wasabi tablets before bed every day for 12 weeks..
One group received wasabi tablets containing 0.8 milligrams of 6-MSITC, while the other group received placebo tablets.
Evaluated after 3 months. The researchers again examined cognitive functions, analyzing the mental processing speed, attention, short-term memory, working memory, episodic memory and executive functions of the participants.
Those who took wasabi pills performed better on memory tests. Particularly in episodic memory (remembering sequences from the past), working memory (temporarily retaining information) and memory association tasks such as associating names with faces, which is a common challenge for older people. Further and further They showed improvements in both short- and long-term memory.
Reduction of oxidation and inflammation levels.
According to studies, The hippocampus plays a fundamental role in the function of episodic memory and working memory. Researchers suspect that the compound 6-MSITC may work by mitigating neurological inflammation, protecting against oxidative damage to brain cells, and strengthening neuronal connectivity.
“6-MSITC would reduce oxidant levels and inflammation in the hippocampus. Reducing oxidants and inflammation can protect the brain from damage and improve neuronal functions, such as brain activity and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus. Weekly use of 6-MSITC would improve memory function in older people,” concludes the study published in Nutrients.
The researchers also noted that they found no evidence of significant improvements in areas such as reasoning, attention and processing speed.
Although more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms and confirm these findings, The study suggests that including wasabi in the diet may provide a natural way to boost memory as we age.