In a new study, researchers at AlMaarefa University in Saudi Arabia found that vitamin K (a nutrient found in foods like broccoli, spinach and arugula) has protective effects against the development of neurodegenerative problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Not yet published, the study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Anatomy Association, held in the United States. “Vitamin K2 has shown a very promising impact in preventing behavioral, functional, biochemical and histopathological changes related to aging of the senile brain. It may be proposed as a promising approach to attenuate age-related disorders and preserve cognitive functions in elderly individuals,” explained senior study author Mohamed El-Sherbiny, a researcher at AlMaarefa University.
Other research had already made the connection of the K-complex vitamins with the processes involving the functioning of the brain. But this time, scientists have found biological pathways by which the nutrient appears to be able to preserve cognitive function.
The scientists evaluated the animals’ cognitive functioning and behavior after 17 months and found that those who received the nutrient performed better than the others. Additionally, they linked vitamin supplementation with a reduction in cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety.
The study was conducted with mice, so more research is needed to confirm the truth in humans. “Further clinical studies will be needed to assess the appropriate dosage for protection against Alzheimer’s disease,” said El-Sherbiny.
The team also examined the animals’ brain tissue to understand the biological pathways during the process of preservation by vitamin K. The results revealed the activation of processes in the organ linked to the proteins NLRP3, Caspase 1 and NRF-2, which act in inflammatory and antioxidant activity. In addition, there was an increase in tyrosine, which is an amino acid that helps preserve cognitive functions.
Source: The Globe
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