New Delhi: A diet rich in walnuts has the beneficial effect of lowering the risk or preventing Alzheimer's disease altogether, a research said Thursday.
According to the research, there was a significant improvement in learning skills, memory, reducing anxiety and motor development in mice fed a walnut-rich diet.
The research was carried out by a group of researchers led by Abha Chauhan, head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR).
The researchers suggested that the high antioxidant content of walnuts may have a contributing factor in protecting the mouse brain from the degeneration typically seen in Alzheimer's disease.
"These findings are very promising and help lay the groundwork for future human studies on walnuts and Alzheimer's disease - a disease for which there is no known cure," said Chauhan in a statement.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 3.7 million Indians with Alzheimer's disease.
"Demographic ageing is a global phenomenon. India's population is undergoing a rapid demographic transition now. India is home to more than 70 million people more than 60 years of age as per the 2001 Census. With demographic ageing comes the problem of dementia," Chauhan added.
Chauhan also said that walnuts have other nutritional benefits also as they contain numerous vitamins and minerals and are the only nuts that contain a significant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid with heart and brain-health benefits.