A new study from the Salk Institute of Biological Studies shows that a plant compound found in some fruits may prevent Alzheimer‘s disease and protect against memory loss. The compound is called “fisetin” and is most commonly found in strawberries, among other fruits and vegetables. Previously cited for its positive effect on memory, the new study looks at how fisetin may treat Alzheimer‘s.
Fisetin May Protect the Brain from Dementia and Memory Loss
The study published in Aging Cell showed that fisetin may be a groundbreaking preventative strategy in protecting the brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related memory loss. Using mice that were genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s, researchers fed one group water with fisetin in it, where the other group of mice received water without fisetin. Nine months into the study, the mice that did not receive fisetin began showing signs of cognitive decline while the mice who had consumed fisetin showed no sign of decline.
Upon exploring the brains of the mice who consumed fisetin, researchers found that there were actually anti-inflammatory molecules that were not in the brains of those mice who developed Alzheimer’s disease. The mice who consumed fisetin supplemented water remained healthy even though they were genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Where to Find Fisetin
Fisetin is a relatively new compound, identified only a little more than ten years ago. The compound has been widely studied for anti-cancer and diabetes methods, but is now showing promise to preserve brain health. Unfortunately, fisetin is only found in small amounts of particular fruits and vegetables and it is hard to consume it from diet alone. However, it is most commonly found in these superfoods:
- Cucumber with skin
The Future of Fisetin and Alzheimer’s
Because fisetin is not the easiest plant compound to consume, researchers are looking at creating a fisetin supplement that would make it easier for humans to benefit from the brain boosting compound. In addition to enhancing brain health, fisetin may also:
- Help stroke victims recover better and faster
- Protect nerve cells from age related damage
- Benefit cancer and diabetes patients
However, even with all the promise that fisetin holds, there have been no human trials conducted, so it is unknown if the plant compound will have the same effects on humans as it does on animals. Researchers hope to conduct human trials in the future to see if the compound is as groundbreaking and life changing in humans as it has shown to be in animals.
In the meantime, check out our list of brain boosting foods that are proven to protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia. It can’t hurt to add some extra strawberries in your diet!
What do you think about the potential of fisetin? Have you seen any of these fruits improve dementia symptoms in a loved one?