Compounds in leafy green vegetable could help prevent cognitive decline

Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

December 22 2017. An article that appeared on December 20, 2017 in Neurology® reports an association between daily consumption of green, leafy vegetables and a reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.

Martha Clare Morris, ScD, of Rush University Medical Center and colleagues analyzed data from 960 participants between the ages of 58 and 99 years in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Subjects completed food frequency questionnaires and received two or more cognitive assessments over an average period of 4.7 years.

Individuals whose intake of leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale/collards/greens, and lettuce, was among the top 20% of subjects at a median of 1.3 servings per day had a rate of cognitive decline over follow-up that was significantly slower than that of subjects’ whose intake was among the lowest 20% at 0.1 servings per day. The authors compared the difference to that of someone 11 years younger. When individual nutrients contained in leafy vegetables were analyzed, having an intake among the top 20% of intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1), lutein, folate, alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), nitrate and kaempferol were each associated with slower cognitive decline in comparison with an intake that was among the lowest fifth.

The authors concluded that “Consumption of approximately 1 serving per day of green leafy vegetables and foods rich in phylloquinone, lutein, nitrate, folate, alpha-tocopherol, and kaempferol may help to slow cognitive decline with aging.”

“Adding a daily serving of green, leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to foster your brain health,” Dr Morris commented. “Projections show sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number, so effective strategies to prevent dementia are critical.”

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