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Marmite May Help Combat Dementia

Marmite May Help Combat Dementia

Whether you are a fan or otherwise, a daily dollop of Marmite may help to combat dementia. This report taken from The Alzheimer’s Society states:

‘New study suggests that Marmite may affect brain function'

'New research by scientists at the University of York suggests that there is a potential link between eating Marmite and activity in the brain.

The study found that participants consuming a teaspoon of Marmite every day for a month, compared to a control group who consumed peanut butter, showed a substantial reduction of around 30 per cent in their brain’s response to visual stimuli, measured by recording electrical activity using electroencephalography (EEG).

Commenting on the research Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Society said:

'Evidence shows that our diet plays an important role in the way our brain functions. This research only looked at how people in their 20s responded to visual stimuli rather than testing their thinking or memory, so there’s no way to say from this study whether eating Marmite can affect your dementia risk. But the study does give us a deeper understanding of how certain aspects of diet could affect the function of nerve cells in the brain.'

'Along with eating a healthy diet, the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia are to exercise regularly, avoid smoking and keep your blood pressure in check.'’

(Alzheimers Society, 4th April 2017)

The studies focused on looking at how certain foods can affect the brain and Laura Donnelly, Health Editor for The Telegraph added:

‘Scientists said the changes in the Marmite group appeared to reflect increased levels of a specific neurotransmitter – known as GABA – in the brain.

The chemical is known to inhibit the excitability of neurons in the brain, acting to “turn down the volume” of neural responses in order to regulate the balance of activity needed to maintain a healthy brain.

Researchers said the study was the first to show that dietary changes may affect GABA levels, which are associated with neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it calms the brain, and opposes the action of neurotransmitters, which fire it up.’

‘As the effects of Marmite consumption took around eight weeks to wear off after participants stopped the study, this suggests that dietary changes could potentially have long-term effects on brain function.’

( The Telegraph, 5th April 2017)

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