Scientists discovered that the consumption of sea squirts, immobile animals found in all types of marine ecosystems, could help reverse the effects of aging on the brain.
Commonly called sea squirt, it is consumed in Asian countries such as Japan and Korea and can not only stop cognitive decline, but also reverse cognitive deficiencies in the aging brain, RT indicates.
Sea squirts have plasmalogens, a type of lipid that is also found in our hearts and brains and whose quantity decreases with age. This can lead to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
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The scientists had mice of various ages move through a Morris water maze with a single landing platform.
Mice don’t like water very much, so their natural tendency is to try to memorize the location of the platform and swim towards it to protect themselves. Due to delayed mental acuity, older mice generally take longer to find the platform.
Old rodents that had consumed sea jet plasmalogen supplements were able to find the platform with the agility of young ones.
“Furthermore, aged mice fed plasmalogens develop new, thicker, shinier black hair than aged mice that did not receive the supplement,” said Professor Lei Fu, one of the study’s authors.
Further examination of the rodents’ brains revealed that those that had consumed plasmalogen had more connections between neurons than old mice that were not fed sea squirt supplements.
The research was also supported by scientists from Stanford University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.