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Antioxidant supplements can improve cognition and memory, study finds

Antioxidants present in specific foods counteract these radicals, mitigating cell damage and decelerating age-related decline.
Antioxidants present in specific foods counteract these radicals, mitigating cell damage and decelerating age-related decline. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)


Age-related decline in cognitive and muscle function remains a major challenge in healthcare, with associated costs expected to rise over time. This decline is often attributed to oxidative stress, which damages cells through oxygen-free radicals.


Antioxidants present in specific foods counteract these radicals, mitigating cell damage and decelerating age-related decline. In instances where adopting an antioxidant-rich diet proves impractical, individuals may resort to supplements.


 
 

A recent study led by Professor Koji Fukui from the Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), along with Dr. Fukka You from Gifu University, discovered that administering a blend of antioxidant supplements to aged mice notably improved spatial cognition, short-term memory, and muscle durability.


Changes in various measurement indices during breeding in TwX-treated aged mice. Body weights of the mice from 18 to 19.5 months old.
Changes in various measurement indices during breeding in TwX-treated aged mice. Body weights of the mice from 18 to 19.5 months old. (CREDIT: MDPI)


Published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, these findings suggest promising implications for human health.


 
 

Prof. Fukui explained, “In this study, significant improvements were observed in spatial learning ability and short-term memory in supplement-treated aged mice. Long-term intake of blended antioxidant supplements may effectively counteract the effects of aging and increased oxidation in the body.”


Memory loss, associated with diseases like Alzheimer's, disproportionately affects older individuals. The study's findings propose that such supplements could potentially prevent memory loss in humans.


 

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Sarcopenia, characterized by progressive muscle weakness, significantly impacts mobility and can lead to social isolation. Furthermore, it heightens the risk of cognitive disorders. If antioxidant supplements can bolster muscle strength in mice, they may hold promise for mitigating muscle frailty and sarcopenia in humans.


Prof. Fukui emphasized, “Frailty and sarcopenia are now serious problems and potent risk factors for dementia. Although the mechanism is unknown, it is groundbreaking that taking supplements may be able to prevent muscle weakness.”


 
 

Selecting the right antioxidant supplements


Despite the availability of various antioxidant supplements, selecting the right one can be challenging. The study's results support the use of blended antioxidant supplements to stave off age-related decline. However, further research is necessary to confirm their efficacy and safety in humans.


TwX improves spatial learning ability in aged mice. The average goal time (escape latency) in the spatial cognition test.
TwX improves spatial learning ability in aged mice. The average goal time (escape latency) in the spatial cognition test. (CREDIT: MDPI)


Additionally, different antioxidant blends may exert varying effects, necessitating caution and reliance on clinical evidence. The supplement used in the study, Twendee X, shares a composition similar to the commercially available Oxycut®.


 
 

Prof. Fukui noted, “Although many types of antioxidant supplements are available, the effect is greater if multiple types are taken simultaneously rather than one type. However, it is difficult to know which type and how much to take, as it is possible to take too many of some vitamins. We recommend only taking multivitamins that are guaranteed to be safe.”


Beyond selecting the right antioxidant supplement, determining the appropriate regimen can also be perplexing. Future research on individual differences in antioxidant effects may clarify optimal dosage and composition, potentially reducing age-related health decline over time.


Prof. Fukui envisioned, “In the future, there will come a time when we will provide multi-supplements tailored to each individual. There will be no need to worry about overdosing.”


 
 

While further research is warranted, these findings offer hope for addressing the challenges posed by aging in healthcare.





For more science news stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


 

Note: Materials provided above by the The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


 
 

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