18 Jan 2024
Can it help against cognitive decline?
A published 2023 study shows that Glycine & NAC can help against cognitive decline.
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have been looking into why our brains decline with age.
In a study published in May 2023, researchers found that giving old mice GlyNAC—a mix of glycine and N-acetylcysteine—boosted their brain function and reversed age-related cognitive decline. This is similar to what they observed in older adults in a 2021 trial.
Dr. Rajagopal Sekhar, the lead author, has been studying aging in humans and mice for over 20 years. The research shows that age-related cognitive decline is linked to low levels of glutathione, increased oxidative stress, and other factors. Supplementing with Glycine & NAC seems to reverse these issues and improve cognitive function.
In this study, researchers wanted to see if cognitive decline in ageing could be reversed naturally, without genetic changes, which is important since ageing is a big risk factor for Alzheimer's.
They worked with old mice, similar to 70-year-old humans, and young mice for comparison. Some old mice were given a diet with Glycine & NAC, while others continued their regular diet. After eight weeks, they tested the mice's cognitive abilities and analyzed their brains.
The results were exciting!
Old mice had brain issues like low glutathione and energy problems, but Glycine & NAC helped. It improved cognitive function and fixed brain issues like poor energy production and inflammation.
This suggests Glycine & NAC might help improve brain health in ageing.
Next, they plan to test this in older humans.
Previous studies from Dr. Sekhar's lab showed that Glycine & NAC helped improve health and lengthen lifespan in rodents. A recent human trial also found similar benefits for muscles and blood.
This new study builds on those findings, showing that Glycine & NAC could specifically help the brain and cognitive function in aging. This could be important for Alzheimer's and mild cognitive impairment, as they share similar issues.
Dr. Sekhar's team is now looking at whether older people with mild cognitive impairment lack glutathione, a key factor in brain health.
A link to the study is here - https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/12/5/1042