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Mineral Supports Cognitive Function

A recently published study suggests that a particular trace mineral is important for maintaining cognitive function in older adults. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the estimated lifetime risk of developing dementia in individuals reaching age 65 is approximately 20 percent for women and 17 percent for men. In addition, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is increasing every year due to the steady growth in the older population.

A new clinical trial investigated the effect of chromium picolinate supplementation in older adults with cognitive decline. In this study, 26 older adults received either chromium picolinate supplementation or placebo for 12 weeks. The subjects were evaluated for depression and memory at the beginning of the study and again after the 12 weeks of supplementation. Some of the subjects were also evaluated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate brain activity.

The results showed that the subjects receiving chromium picolinate supplementation showed improvement on learning, recall and recognition memory tasks. In addition, fMRI indicated that the subjects supplemented with chromium picolinate had increased activation in specific areas of the brain including the right thalamic, right temporal, right posterior parietal and bifrontal regions, compared to the subjects in the placebo group.

The researchers stated, “These findings suggest that supplementation with chromium picolinate can enhance cognitive inhibitory control and cerebral function in older adults at risk for neurodegeneration.”

This article was published on Thursday March 07, 2013.
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Reference:

Krikorian R, Eliassen JC, Boespflug EL, Nash TA, Shidler MD. Improved cognitive-cerebral function in older adults with chromium supplementation. Nutr Neurosci. 2010 Jun;13(3):116-22.