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Home Industry News Lutein-rich spinach and kale ‘may improve brain performance’

Lutein-rich spinach and kale ‘may improve brain performance’

31st July 2017

Lutein-rich foods could deliver cognitive as well as physical health benefits, according to a new study.

The University of Illinois research measured levels of lutein in the eyes of 60 adults aged 25 to 45, before using electrodes on the scalp to measure neural activity in the brain while the participants performed a task that tested attention.

It was found that middle-aged participants with higher levels of lutein exhibited neural responses that had more in common with younger individuals than with their peers, suggesting lutein offers a protective role in cognitive function.

Lutein is a nutrient that cannot be produced naturally and must be acquired through diet. It is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs.

Further research will now be conducted to assess how dietary consumption of lutein may increase lutein levels in the eye, and to determine how closely these levels relate to changes in cognitive performance.

Naiman Khan, a professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois, said: "In this study we focused on attention, but we also would like to understand the effects of lutein on learning and memory. There's a lot we are very curious about."

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