A team of researchers has found a formula of nutrients high in antioxidants and other natural components that can help boost the speed at which the brains of older adults processed information, thus improve the cognitive health. The team at University of South Florida (USF) developed nutritional supplement, containing extracts from blueberries and green tea combined with vitamin D3 and amino acids, including carnosine, which was tested by them in a clinical trial enrolling 105 healthy adults, ages 65 to 85. Researchers Paula Bickford, PhD, and Brent Small, PhD, teamed up to investigate the effects of a USF-developed, antioxidant-rich nutritional supplement on the cognitive performance of older adults.
The two-month study evaluated the effects of the formula, called NT-020, on the cognitive performance of these older adults, who had no diagnosed memory disorders. Those randomized to the group of 52 volunteers receiving NT-020 demonstrated improvements in cognitive processing speed, while the 53 volunteers randomized to receive a placebo did not. Reduced cognitive processing speed, which can slow thinking and learning, has been associated with advancing age, the researchers said.
'After two months, test results showed modest improvements in two measures of cognitive processing speed for those taking NT-020 compared to those taking placebo,' said Brent Small, PhD, a professor in USF's School of Aging Studies. 'Processing speed is most often affected early on in the course of cognitive aging. Successful performance in processing tasks often underlies more complex cognitive outcomes, such as memory and verbal ability.' Blueberries, a major ingredient in the NT-020 formula, are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic, or natural phenol substructure. The study was published in the journal Rejuvenation Research.
In order to maximize your antioxidant intake, make sure you eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. This roughly translates into one serving of a salad, two servings of cooked vegetables and at least two fruits in a day. Another good source of antioxidant is soyabean. Include them into your meal at least two three times a week to get the maximum benefit.
According to Shilpa Mittal, expert nutritionist and dietician, eating the right kinds of food at the right time is essential to gaining the maximum benefit. If you include these simple foods with antioxidants into your diet, you should be on the right track to healthier living. (Read more: Antioxidants: Facts you should know)