First Research to Find Walnuts to Improve Cognitive and Motor Function

New research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a diet containing as much as 6% walnuts (equivalent to 1 oz in humans) was able to reverse age-related motor and cognitive deficits in aged rats.

WHAT: New research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a diet containing as much as 6% walnuts (equivalent to 1 oz in humans) was able to reverse age-related motor and cognitive deficits in aged rats. The researchers believe that walnuts may have the ability to protect the brain by quenching the age-related free radicals, as well as promote neuronal communication and growth of new neurons. They concluded that adding walnuts to your diet may increase "health span" and provide a "longevity dividend" by delaying the onset of debilitating neurodegenerative disease. British Journal of Nutrition (2009),101,1140-1144: Dose-dependent effects of walnuts on motor and cognitive function in aged rats. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=5465528

 

WHO: Interview Available:

• James Joseph, Ph.D – Researcher/Neuroscientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging at Tufts University

Researcher Dr. James Joseph believes these findings show great promise for future studies looking into fighting age related degeneration of motor and cognitive abilities through foods such as walnuts. "Considering the numerous compounds found in walnuts: essential fatty acids, the plant-based omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA), polyphenols and antioxidants, these results are not surprising," says Dr. Joseph. In fact, he believes "adding just 7 to 9 walnuts a day to an otherwise healthy diet may help older people improve cognitive skills."

WHY: According to the CDC, among Americans 65 years and older, one in four experiences cognitive decline, approximately 6–10% have dementia, and two-thirds of people with dementia have Alzheimer's disease.1 Although research has not found a way to prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline may be preventable. Recent studies suggest that consuming specific foods, being physically active and engaging in social activities may help you maintain and improve your cognitive health.

 

CONTACT:

Contact: Kaley Todd, MS, RD

Torme Lauricella Public Relations

Phone: (415) 956-1791 x234

Cell: (847) 732-5878

e-mail: kaley@torme.com

Contact: Sarah Mathews

Torme Lauricella Public Relations

Phone: (415) 956-1791 x232

Cell: (415) 350-4688

e-mail: sarah@torme.com

1http://www.cdc.gov/Aging/info.htm#3