In Vitro Study: Can Walnuts Prevent Cognitive Decline?

August 1, 2011

Walnut extract may offer cell protection against oxidative stress and cell death caused by amyloid beta-protein, the major components of amyloid deposits found in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.

According to a new in vitro study published in Neurochemical Research,walnut extract may offer cell protection against oxidative stress and cell death caused by amyloid beta-protein, the major components of amyloid deposits found in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.

Amyloid beta-protein is said to be a major component of senile plaque, increasing free radical production in neuronal cells, which can lead to oxidative stress and cell death. Researchers say that walnuts are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against such degeneration.

“Walnuts are a nutrient-dense whole food that not only provides antioxidants but also alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. These components of walnuts offer anti-inflammatory properties and protect brain cells from oxidative damage,” said Abha Chauhan, PhD, one of the researchers and head of the developmental neuroscience lab at the NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities.