Eating raw garlic can keep your memory sharp in old age by improving bowel health, study suggests
- Older people with bad memories also tend to have less diverse intestinal flora
- It is thought that garlic promotes the growth of ‘good’ and more diverse intestinal bacteria
- Scientists from the University of Louisville discovered that older mice that had a raw garlic composition had better gut health and a long and short memory
Eating raw garlic can help prevent age-related memory loss in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, scientists suggest.
The natural substance in garlic – allyl sulfide – improves the health of bacteria in the stomach and also improves cognitive health in the elderly.
American scientists discovered that the compound restores trillions of microorganisms – also known as gut flora – in the gut.
Previous research has shown the importance of intestinal flora for maintaining health.
Few studies have investigated bowel health and age-related disorders.
Dr. Jyotirmaya Behera at the University of Louisville in Kentucky said, “Our findings suggest that a dietary administration of garlic with allyl sulfide can help maintain healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in the elderly.”
A new study suggests that as you age, eating raw garlic can improve bowel health and, in turn, improve both long-term and short-term memory
Co-author Dr. Neetu Tyagi added: ‘The diversity of the intestinal flora in the elderly is reduced, a phase of life in which neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease develop and memory and cognitive skills can decrease.
“We want to better understand how changes in the gut flora are related to aging-related cognitive decline.”
The team tested the theory on 24-month-old mice – an age corresponding to people between 56 and 69 years old.
The rodents received allyl sulfide and compared to mice that were younger and the same age and did not receive a garlic composition.
The results showed that the older mice that ate the supplement showed better long-term and short-term memory, as well as a healthier gut compared to the other rodents who had reduced spatial memory.
Further research showed that allyl sulfide preserved a gene expression of neuron-derived natriuretic factor (NDNF) in the brain, which is crucial for long-term and short-term memory.
The gene was previously discovered by scientists from the University of Louisville.
Researchers discovered that the mice receiving the garlic composition also showed higher levels of NDNF gene expression, as well as hydrogen sulfide gas – a molecule that prevents intestinal inflammation in the gut.
The team plans to further investigate how recovered gut bacteria can prevent age-related memory loss and whether garlic can even be used as a treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat human diseases and can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers such as breast and stomach, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The unique taste of garlic comes from sulfur compounds.
Like other members of the allium family, the plant absorbs sulfate from the soil and absorbs it in amino acids and sulfur storage molecules.
These sulfur storage molecules can then be broken down to about 50 different sulfur-containing compounds when the garlic is prepared and eaten
Garlic could ward off hospital superbugs, a new study revealed.
Ajoene, an active sulfur-containing substance that occurs in the sharp vegetables, in combination with antibiotics helps to break down the defenses of a bacterium.
Scientists hope that the breakthrough can combat incurable cystic fibrosis and chronic wounds in diabetics and can address MRSA and common P. aeruginosa infections.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando