Wheatgrass may help slow dementia development

Water extract of triticum aestivum leaf and its components demonstrate protective effect in a model of vascular dementia

Hyung Soo Han, Jung-Hee Jang, Jae Hee Jang, Jung Sook Choi, Yoon Jung Kim, Chan Lee, Sun Ha Lim, Hyeong-Kyu Lee, and Jongwon Lee. J. Medicinal Food (3) 2010, 572–578


Vascular dementia (VD) is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In VD the blood vessels of the brain are damaged to the point that the oxygen levels in the brain are decreased, leading to brain cell death.  Risk factors for VD include high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, high blood levels of cholesterol and other fats and high levels of a chemical marker, homocysteine.  Previous studies in this lab had indicated that wheatgrass extracts could prevent VD in an animal model for stroke.  This study examined the ability of wheatgrass extracts to prevent VD.

Laboratory/Animal Study:

VD was induced in rats by cutting off the brain’s blood supply.  Some rats were treated with either the wheatgrass extract or individual components of that extract, including starch, total dietary fiber, β-glucan, arabinoxylan, arabinose and xylose.


The wheatgrass extract, starch, total dietary fiber and arabinose were most effective in protecting the brain cells against the changes seen in VD.  The researchers concluded that wheatgrass extract and some of its individual components could be used to protect against VD.