New research says that if you want to maintain a supple memory throughout the years, then you’d better be eating garlic. Not to mention that it has a hand in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
As someone whose greatest fear is perhaps losing my memory, and someone who is forever in love with garlic, this new research is certainly double good news. I personally would not kiss somebody who minded that I’ve just had garlic, but that’s me! A fan of eating garlic through and through.
There are plenty of health benefits for garlic, like antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, the boosting of your immune system, and helping with lowering cholesterol levels and your blood pressure. A new study from the University of Louisville takes the known health benefits even further than this: the results say that eating garlic might change the gut bacteria that have been associated with age-related memory problems.
Mice eating garlic had better memory
So how did this study work? The researchers gave participants oral allyl sulfide, a compound found in garlic, to 2-year old mice – so same biological age as people between 56 and 69 years old. Then they compared these mice to much younger ones, just 4 months old, and mice that were the same age but not taking the supplements.
The mice who did receive the supplement ended up having better memory and healthier gut bacteria than their age peers. The latter showed impaired spatial memory, some intestinal inflammation, but also lower levels of a particular gene that helps with both long-term and short-term memory.
"Our findings suggest that dietary administration of garlic containing allyl sulfide could help maintain healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in the elderly," said Jyotirmaya Behera, Ph.D., author of the study.
Of course, this research has to be replicated on a larger scale and on humans but eating garlic in the meantime can most definitely help with flavor and with health. I know I will be taking advantage of that