Chicory extract found to improve memory loss in mice: China study

By Millette Burgos

- Last updated on GMT

Chicory extract resulted in improvements for mice with cognitive impairment. ©iStock
Chicory extract resulted in improvements for mice with cognitive impairment. ©iStock
Chicoric acid (CA), a nutraceutical component from the chicory plant, could slow down memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, a study revealed.

CA, a natural phenolic acid extracted from chicory and the echinacea (purple coneflower) plant (Echinacea purpurea), has widely been regarded as a nutraceutical ingredient that has powerful antioxidant and anti-obesity activities. But its healing properties may include improving memory loss, according to new research.

Published online by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s FASEB Journal,​ the study described how mice with cognitive impairment induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) doses, were able to improve memory skills after being given CA via their drinking water.

Using three groups of mice – a control group, a group that received LPS, and another group that received both LPS and CA, learning and memory capabilities were evaluated using two separate behavioural tests –  Y-maze and Morris water maze, where mice in a small pool are made to swim with submerged platforms across different quadrants. The tests were done four hours after LPS injection.

Plausible therapeutic intervention

Findings revealed that LPS-treated mice with no CA dosage took a longer time to find the platforms in the water maze compared to the control group. The mice given both LPS and CA on the other hand, took less time to locate the platforms.

Xuebo Liu, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work at the College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China, explained the findings: "Chicoric acid mitigated lipopolysaccharide-induced amyloidogenesis and memory impairment […] suggesting that chicoric acid supplementation might be a plausible therapeutic intervention for neuroinflammation-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease."

While the result of the research still considered “provocative” ​because “ the LPS regime is not likely a model of long-term memory impairment”,​ Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, said the possibility remains that “chicoric acid could prove to be a beneficial human nutraceutical for overall memory acuity."

Source: The FASEB Journal


“Chicoric acid supplementation prevents systemic inflammation-induced memory impairment and amyloidogenesis via inhibition of NF-κB”

Authors: Qian Liu, Yuwei Chen, Chun Shen et al


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