Consuming one fresh avocado per day may lead to improved cognitive function in healthy older adults due to increased lutein levels in the brain and eye, according to new research published in the journal Nutrients. The research tracked how 40 healthy adults ages 50 and over who ate one fresh avocado a day for six months experienced a 25% increase in lutein levels in their eyes and significantly improved working memory and problem-solving skills.
Lutein is a carotenoid, or pigment, commonly found in fruits and vegetables that accumulates in the blood, eye, and brain and may act as an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
As study participants incorporated one medium avocado into their daily diet, researchers monitored gradual growth in the amount of lutein in their eyes and progressive improvement in cognition skills as measured by tests designed to evaluate memory, processing speed, and attention levels.
In contrast, the control group which did not eat avocados experienced fewer improvements in cognitive health during the study period. The research, “Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial,” was conducted at Tufts University and supported by the Hass Avocado Board.
These findings are based on the consumption of one whole avocado each day (369 mcg lutein). Additional research is needed to determine whether the results could be replicated with consumption of the recognized serving size of 1/3 of an avocado per day (136 mcg lutein).
The control diet included either one medium potato or one cup of chickpeas in place of the avocado. Chickpeas and potatoes were used as the control diet because they provided a similar level of calories, but a negligible amount of lutein and monounsaturated fats.
Increased Lutein In The Eye Associated With Better Brain Health
“The results of this study suggest that the monounsaturated fats, fiber, lutein, and other bioactive make avocados particularly effective at enriching neural lutein levels, which may provide benefits for not only eye health, but for brain health,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University.
“Furthermore, the results of this new research reveal that lutein levels in the eye more than doubled in subjects that consumed fresh avocados, compared to a supplement, as evidenced by my previous published research. Thus, a balanced diet that includes fresh avocados may be an effective strategy for cognitive health.”
The American Optometric Association reports that the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macular region of the retina can be measured as macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Recently, MPOD has become a useful biomarker for predicting disease and visual function. Beyond reducing the risk of eye disease, separate studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin improve visual performance in AMD patients, cataract patients, and people in good health.
Learn more about other high lutein fruits and vegetables that you can add to your diet.
“While the conclusions drawn are from a single study that cannot be generalized to all populations, the study’s outcome helps to reinforce and advance the body of published research on avocado benefits and their role in everyday healthy living,” said Nikki Ford, Ph.D., Director of Nutrition of the Hass Avocado Board. “Avocados are a nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free fruit with naturally good fats, and are a delicious and easy way to add more fruits and vegetables to everyday healthy eating plans.”
Important Notice: This article was originally published at www.gardeningchannel.com where all credits are due.
The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah®. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah® in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah® or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.
Dr. Farrah® is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah® has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.
Dr. Farrah® promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.
Dr. Farrah® does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah® does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.
To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind.
Dr. Farrah® hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.