Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Barley Grass Improves Cognition

Cognition involves series of processes that take place in brain which allows the person to comprehend the happening around in the environment. The word comes from the Latin root cognoscere, which means “to know”. It is the ability to process information gained through our senses and knowledge acquired through experience to interpert the world around us.

Cognition includes different cognitive processes, like learning, attention, memory, language, reasoning, decision making, etc., which are part of our intellectual development and experience.

Brain vulnerability is influenced by both non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors, including age, family history and genetics on one hand, and preventable cardiovascular risk, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, physical activity, tobacco/alcohol/drugs, and stress, on the other hand. Diet is one of the most important lifestyle-related factors which may impact on brain vulnerability. Dietary supplementation-based strategies have been demonstrated to be effective in subjects with mild cognitive impairment, while weaker results have been obtained in patients with advance neurodegenerative disease.

An individual can consume all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients in appropriate proportions to maintain a working body, such as antioxidants, vitamin-Bs, polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and red wine, which play a role in reducing the risk of cognitive impairment or delaying its onset. In addition, avoiding excess fats, sugar, salt, and processed goods is also highly recommended. Such diet is believed to provide numerous mental/health benefits and reduce the risk of several chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, etc.

Barley grass is rich source of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and potassium that have been proven to improve cognition. In certain species like Yungong barley grass, the amount of GABA (377.46 mg/100 g) and potassium (3110 mg/100 g) is 62.5 times and 31 times of polished rice. Moreover, vitamins in barley grass have very effective antistress capabilities.

1. Businaro, R.; et.al. Therapeutic Opportunities for Food Supplements in Neurodegenerative Disease and Depression. Front Nutr. 2021, 8, 669846.
2. Melzer, T. M.; et.al. In Pursuit of Healthy Aging: Effects of Nutrition on Brain Function. Int J Mol Sci. 2021, 22(9), 5026.
3. Zeng, Y.; et. al. Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018, 3232080.

Cognitive processes are highly dependent on the prefrontal cortex.


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