Natural mineral may reverse memory loss: Study

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A person who is getting a balanced diet of fruits, nuts, veggies and meat usually has good selenium levels

Selenium, a mineral found in many foods, could reverse the cognitive impact of stroke and boost learning and memory in ageing brains, according to University of Queensland research.

Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) lead researcher Dr Tara Walker said studies on the impact of exercise on the ageing brain found levels of a protein key to transporting selenium in the blood were elevated by physical activity.

Selenium is an essential trace mineral absorbed from soil and water and is found in foods such as grains, meat and nuts, with the highest levels found in Brazil nuts.

The scientists also tested whether selenium would have an impact on the cognitive decline sometimes experienced following stroke, which can affect people’s memory and ability to learn.

“Young mice are really good at the learning and memory tasks, but after a stroke, they could no longer perform these tasks. We found that learning and memory deficits of stroke affected mice returned to normal when they were given selenium supplements”, said the researchers.

The results have opened a new therapeutic avenue to boost cognitive function in people who were unable to exercise due to poor health or old age.

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