Posted on Aug 08, 2012, 6 a.m.
South Korea researchers report that onion helps to protect the brain from stroke-related vascular damage, in a lab animal model.
Elevated levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a reactive carbonyl compound that is considered a marker of oxidative stress, are found in the brain affected by stroke. Soo-Wang Hyun, from Ajou University School of Medicine (Republic of Korea), and colleagues employed a mouse model of stroke to study the effect of onion compounds on brain levels of MDA took the researchers found that animals that consumed a diet including onions maintained activities of key antioxidant enzymes (catalase and glutathione peroxidase), while demonstrating lower levels of MDA. Observing that: "The results from this study demonstrate that onion extract prevents brain edema, [blood-brain barrier] hyperpermeability, and tight junction proteins disruption, possibly through its antioxidant effects,” the study authors conclude that: "This study suggests that onion extract may be a beneficial nutrient for the prevention of [blood-brain barrier] function during brain ischemia.”
Soo-Wang Hyun, Mi Jang, Se Won Park, Eun Joo Kim, Yi-Sook Jung. “Onion (Allium cepa) extract attenuates brain edema.” Nutrition, 6 July 2012.