May 13, 2022 03:39 GMT
The ‘magic pill’ is a lipid called plasmalogen found in sea squirts or sea squirts, which are consumed in Asian countries such as Korea and Japan.
A group of scientists has discovered that the consumption of sea squirts, immobile animals found in all types of marine ecosystems, could help reverse the effects of aging.
Commonly known as 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, according to a release issued by Xi’an Jiaotong University-Liverpool.
Sea squirts contain 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, from Alzheimer’s disease to Parkinson’s.
In their study, the scientists had mice of various ages move through a Morris water maze fitted 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 directly to it as a safe spot. But because of delayed mental acuity, older mice generally take longer to find the platform.
However, old rodents that had consumed sea-jet plasmalogen supplements managed to find the platform with the agility of young mice.
“Furthermore, aged mice fed plasmalogens develop new, thicker, shinier black hair than aged mice that did not receive the supplement,” explained Professor Lei Fu, one of the study’s authors.
Further examination of the rodents’ brains revealed that those that had consumed plasmalogen had more synapses (connections between neurons) than older rodents that were not fed sea squirt supplements.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, is the first to demonstrate how this chemical impacts the aging brain. The research was also supported by scientists from Stanford University, Shanghai Jiao tong University and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.