Dementia care – the surprising drink that could help combat the brain condition2020-06-06
Dementia could be combated by drinking beer, Japanese scientists have now suggested. This is because bitter hops found in beer, known as MHBA, have been shown to improve concentration and speed up thought processes.
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The research also found consuming hops reduced stress levels and improved mood.
Participants in the study who took supplements containing bitter hop extracts displayed better memory recall and were better able to solve mental puzzles.
The study therefore suggested the acid found in bitter hops (MHBA) could be used to help combat dementia.
Participants showed notable improvement in their cognitive function after 12 weeks of taking the supplement.
The scientists from Juntendo University Faculty of Medicine and the Fukushima Healthcare Center carried out the research on 100 people.
These people demonstrated Selective Cognitive Decline (SCD), ‘worsening memory loss’, but were otherwise healthy.
Some of the participants were given placebos while others were given a daily dose of MHBA.
At the beginning of the study they took part in a series of mental tests and assessments, and did the same again after 12 weeks.
Saliva and blood samples were also tested to analyse the affect on hormones and chemicals linked to cognitive function and stress.
The report stated: “We observed improved attention and reduced stress after neuropsychological tests (assessed by ?-endorphin) in the participants who received MHBA supplements.”
The study authors concluded: “The present study results showed that MHBA supplementation improved mental processing speed, attention, and concentration and reduced mental stress after intellectual work in healthy adults aged 45 to 69 years with Selective Cognitive Decline.
“In particular, early intervention through MHBA supplementation in persons with SCD could be successful in improving cognitive function.”
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In addition to these findings, the scientists found MHBA appeared to improve energy metabolism in overweight subjects, which suggested it may help keep people trim too.
The study was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Other ways to prevent dementia
There’s good evidence a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia, advises the NHS.
It adds: “It can also help prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attacks, which are themselves risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, the most common types of dementia.”
Experts agree that what’s good for your heart is also food for your brain.
So the health body recommends reducing your risk of dementia by doing the following:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Keeping alcohol to a minimum
- Stopping smoking
- Keeping blood pressure at a healthy level
- Symptoms of dementia
Common early warning signs include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting Confused over the correct change when shopping
- Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes
If you experience these symptoms, talk to your GP.
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