Oxidative damage is considered one of the hallmarks of the aging process, with a number of previous studies demonstrating that it is responsible for the structural and functional damage to mitochondria characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease. Susan Farr, from St. Louis University in Missouri, and colleagues administered enhanced extracts made from special antioxidants found in spearmint and rosemary to a mouse model of age-related cognitive decline. The higher-dose rosemary extract compound was shown to be effective for improving memory and learning in three tested behaviors. The lower-dose rosemary extract, as well as the compound made from spearmint extract, improved memory in two behavioral tests. As well, the researchers observed that the enhanced herb extracts reduced the markers of oxidative stress. They concluded, “The current results indicate that the extracts from spearmint (carnosic acid) and rosemary (rosmarinic acid) have beneficial effects on learning and memory and brain tissue markers of oxidation that occur with age in [a laboratory animal model].”
Farr, S.A, et al. (2013). Antioxidant extracts from rosemary and spearmint improve learning, memory and reduce oxidative stress in samp8 mice. [Abstract 436.14/T12]. Presentation at Neuroscience 2013 (Society for Neuroscience]. November 11.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
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