Role of Walnuts in Brain Health

The Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging out of Boston conducted research to see what role walnuts play in the cognitive function as we age.

According to the researchers. English walnuts are rich in numerous phytochemicals, including high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and offer potential benefits to brain health. Polyphenolic compounds found in walnuts not only reduce the oxidant and inflammatory load on brain cells but also improve inter-neuronal signaling, increase neurogenesis, and enhance sequestration of insoluble toxic protein aggregates.

The central nervous system is metabolically demanding, consuming nearly one-fourth of total oxygen intake and accounting for greater than 20 percent of the metabolic rate at rest. Walnuts are a rich source of nutrients and bioactive phytochemicals. Walnuts also have melatonin that plays a critical role in regulating circadian rhythms. Walnut extract is neuroprotective against a variety of stressors. They also have cardiovascular benefits.

The study indicated that walnut oil extract, ALA, and DHA provided substantial protection against cell death and calcium dysregulation; the effects were pretreatment concentration-dependent and stressor-dependent.

For more information, take a look at the full study.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24500933

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  • Harvey Wallnutbanger
    Reply

    Walnuts and brain health are a great example of the doctrine of signatures – i.e. walnuts resembles a brain with it’s two hemispheres and convolutions.

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