Vitamin K, found in broccoli, protects against dementia, study says

A study carried out in Saudi Arabia shows new evidence that diet plays an important role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases. According to scientists at AlMaarefa University, vitamin K can protect elderly people from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The nutrient is primarily present in dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach, and is also found in watercress, arugula, cabbage, lettuce, turnip greens, olive oil, avocado, egg and liver.

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In the research, the scientists analyzed the functioning of the cognitive system and the behavior of mice with advanced age during 17 months. Half of them were supplemented with K-complex vitamins, and the other half received a traditional diet for comparison.

Those who received the vitamin showed improvement in spatial memory and learning ability, as well as a significant reduction in cognitive impairment – ​​the transition between normal cognition and dementia – and in depression and anxiety.

“Vitamin K2 has shown a very promising impact in preventing age-related behavioral, functional, biochemical, and histopathological changes in the senile brain,” the study’s lead author, Mohamed El-Sherbiny, wrote in a statement.

By examining the animals’ brain tissue, the researchers observed an increase in tyrosine, an amino acid that helps preserve cognitive functions.

The results of the study, not yet published in a scientific journal, were presented at the annual meeting of the American Anatomy Association in the United States.

The researchers considered that more research needed to be done to prove the nutrient’s benefits, but highlighted that vitamin K “may be proposed as a promising approach to attenuate age-related disorders and preserve cognitive functions in elderly individuals.”

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