Dementia is a disease that affects cognitive functioning. Symptoms can include loss of memory and ability to function in ways that can interfere with quality of life.
In a new rodent study, scientists investigated how vitamin K can affect the cognitive abilities of aged rats. Researchers have learned that the vitamin has the potential to improve cognitive abilities and protect against the risk of dementia.
With age, the risk of developing dementia increases. Dementia is the term given to a group of diseases, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects millions of people. There is currently no cure for dementia, but some medications can ease the symptoms. Additionally, researchers continue to look for ways to reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent the disease from progressing as quickly.
A new study indicates that vitamin K may help protect against “cognitive deterioration”. The new study, which was presented at the Experimental Biology meeting on April 5, 2022, tested the administration of a vitamin K supplement to rats.
Dementia at a glance
Dementia “is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem solving and other thinking skills that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. »
Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be the result of the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain called amyloid plaques. These can prevent brain cells from signaling as well as before and damage them. There are other types of dementia, and vascular dementia is thought to be caused by decreased blood flow to the brain, which can also damage brain cells.
According to the most recent data, people aged 65 and over are at the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia.
Among the listed signs and symptoms of dementia are the following:
– Forgetting the names of loved ones
– Mood swings
– Inability to recall old memories
– Difficulty completing tasks
– Have difficulty communicating
Vitamin K in a nutshell
It is important to get many types of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. One vitamin that plays a role in brain and bone health is vitamin K, which is often found in green leafy vegetables. The aging process is associated with the deterioration of brain function. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble natural vitamin, it protects the brain from the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
There is a recommended daily amount for vitamin K that varies by age. Consuming adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits is good for maintaining normal levels of vitamin K. However, supplements are also available to replace natural sources if you are unable to consume them.
Study on vitamin K and dementia
Because vitamin K can affect brain function, researchers in this study wanted to see how it affects cognitive functioning in rats. The researchers conducted a 17-month trial on rats. One group received a vitamin K supplement, and the other did not. The researchers administered menaquinone-7 (MK-7), which the authors say “is an important form of vitamin K2.” The rats underwent a series of cognitive functioning tests throughout the study. According to the authors, they were tested “to assess cognitive level, anxiety and depressive-like behavior. »
At the end of the study, the rats given the vitamin K supplements showed reduced levels of cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, the authors note that these rats experienced “improved spatial memory and learning ability. »
“Vitamin K2 demonstrated a very promising impact in impeding age-related behavioral, functional, biochemical and histopathological changes in the aging senile brain,” the study authors state. They also conclude that “The most important implications are for attention to vitamin K in the elderly population and its relationship to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. »
Vitamin K may support brain health.
There are many forms of vitamin K, and they all have different food sources. MK-7 is found in fermented vegetables, and the benefits of consuming these foods are known. They’re great for your gut microbiome, which has a well-established link to cognitive decline.
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