Eating fibre-rich foods — such as broccoli, nuts, oats, beans, and whole-grain bread — might help delay brain aging by triggering the production of a short-chain fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties.
This the main takeaway of a new study that was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Rodney Johnson, a professor and the head of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States, is the corresponding author of the study, and Stephanie M. Matt is the first author of the paper.
As Matt and colleagues explain in their study paper, microglia — a major type of immune cell in the brain — tend to become hyperactive and chronically inflamed with age.
This inflammation of the microglia is one of the main causes of memory and cognitive decline in old age.
Previous research has shown that a drug form of butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid that is produced in the colon when bacteria ferment fiber in the gut, can improve memory and reduce inflammation in mice.
A bone-produced hormone is found to reverse the signs of brain aging in mice.