Chinese researchers have found that a component of chicory could help to reduce memory loss, which is one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study discovered that chicoric acid could play a part in stopping toxic build ups, called amyloid plaques, in the brain.
These build ups are usually seen in the condition, and prevent the brain from working properly. However, the latest study is part of a growing body of research which shows that diet could help to prevent amyloid plaques. As well as chicory, the helpful substance is also found in lettuce and dandelion.
The research team found that chicoric acid was effective in blocking a pathway in the brain which is known to cause build ups. These form when proteins fold up in the brain, which causes memory loss. This latest piece of research used lab tests on three groups of mice.
One group of mice was given lipopolysaccharide, while another group had this substance as well as chicoric acid. There was also a control group which did not receive either. Scientists then tested the rodent’s learning and memory capabilities four hours later. They found that the lipopolysaccharide group took longer when compared to the control group.
Those who got chicoric acid were able to perform tasks in a much quicker timescale. The research was carried out at the Northwest A&F University in Yangling. This latest study follows another in Canada, which discovered that those who do no exercise are just as likely to develop dementia as people who are born with a certain gene. People who are over 65 and rarely exercise were found to among those most at risk of getting the condition.
The new research could lead onto further studies to look at whether chicoric acid supplements, as well as dietary changes could be useful in preventing dementia in humans.