(Natural News) A person’s brain health declines as he ages. In particular, neurons — building blocks of the nervous system — die or become damaged. As a result, his risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease increases. Fortunately, he can protect himself from neurodegenerative diseases with the help of natural medicines like the bush apple tree (Heinsia crinite), according to a study published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.
The leaves of the bush apple tree are consumed as a vegetable or as a component of concoctions for treating bacterial infections, diabetes, hypertension, and infertility. Their effect on neurodegenerative disease, however, is something that has not yet been fully understood.
In the study, researchers from the Federal University of Technology and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi in Nigeria and the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil investigated the potential neuroprotective effect of the leaves of the bush apple tree. Aqueous and methanol extracts of the leaves were used to see their effects on oxidative stress in rat brains. Oxidative stress plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. They also determined the total phenol and flavonoid contents of the extracts.
The researchers discovered that the bush apple leaf contains high levels of phenolic compounds, such as quercetin, ellagic, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids. In addition, they found that the aqueous bush apple leaf extract had higher total phenol and flavonoid contents than the methanol extract.
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The results of the experiment demonstrated that aqueous and methanol bush apple leaf extracts modulated the activities of enzymes linked to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The extracts also inhibited ferrous ion (Fe2+)-induced lipid peroxidation in isolated rat brain.
In addition, the extracts suppressed the production of malondialdehyde in rats’ brains. The aqueous extract, in particular, exhibited greater neuroprotective effects. Malondialdehyde is a toxic chemical that causes oxidative damage to brain cells. It also contributes to the development and progression of neurodegenerative conditions. Based on these results, the researchers concluded that bush apple leaves could be used in functional food. The leaves can also improve symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Although aging is inevitable, preventing cognitive decline is possible. In addition to taking bush apple leaf extract, here are more things you can do to help preserve your brain function:
For more strategies on keeping your brain young and sharp, visit BrainHealthBoost.com.