You know that I'm always keeping an eye out for supplements and strategies to help protect or improve cognitive function as we age. Struggling with cognitive decline and memory failure is a significant fear for many of us. So I'm always glad to come across new research about promising options, particularly when the solutions are natural. That's why I'm excited to tell you about this new study out of India.
India is home to Ayurveda, a form of medicine centered on using natural products like herbs to maintain and restore health. Many of its solutions have been in use for thousands of years, but modern medicine is just starting to catch up. One such solution is the use of ashwagandha root to treat cognitive deficits.
Researchers in India decided to conduct a study to see if there was any scientific merit to the use of this root. They set up an eight-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. All of the participants were over the age of 35 and needed treatment for mild cognitive impairment. Some had symptoms of memory impairment and others had received a diagnosis of early dementia. However, people with severe memory issues were not allowed to participate in the study.
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The participants were divided into two groups, one of which received two 300 mg capsules of ashwagandha a day for eight weeks. The other group took a placebo. The researchers evaluated the participants at the beginning of the study, at the halfway point, and at the end using a number of standardized memory tests. They also evaluated their visuospatial processing and response abilities, executive function, attention, and information processing speed.
They found that the participants receiving the ashwagandha showed significant improvements over the placebo group in two areas of memory: immediate memory (the ability to remember information for a few seconds) and general memory (the ability to recall information after a delay). They also experienced improvements in executive function, attention span, and ability to process information quickly.
Ashwagandha is known to improve mood and reduce anxiety, which could help explain its impact on cognitive function. While this study was small, the researchers are excited about the promise it shows and plan to follow it up with a larger, longer study.
I'm not surprised that they got such great results. Usually, when an herb or root has been used for as long as ashwagandha has, there's a good reason, even if our modern scientific studies haven't fully caught up with it. I think ashwagandha is a great weapon in the fight against mild cognitive impairment, and I expect we'll be seeing more studies corroborating that in the future. That's why I put a full dose in Advanced Adrenal Factor.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD