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[2019/11/28] Research of NYMU Faculty of Dentistry Confirms the Importance of the Chewing Ability to the Prevention of Dementia

Vice President of Taiwan Chen Chien-Jen(7th from right) and NYMU School of Dentistry Dean Hsu (left 7th) attended the press conference. They advocated the importance of the ability to chew and swallow to the prevention of dementia.

 

Regular chewing of solid food is able to stimulate the brain, which then helps prevent dementia! The Taiwan Progressive Culture Association held a press conference on October 22nd entitled “Regular Chewing, healthy aging, a flexible mouth, and a happy life”. Citing the award-winning research of President Hsu of National Yang-Ming University Faculty of Dentistry and his team, they advocate that everyone should pay attention to the importance of chewing and swallow in relation to the prevention of dementia.

 

Vice President of Taiwan Chen Chien-Jen remarked, “It is a common knowledge to all of us all that dementia and muscular atrophy are a sign of aging, however, modern medicine and the World Health Organization (WHO) have now determined that dementia and muscular atrophy are actually diseases. Everyone should take precautions in the form of prevention. Oral chewing is able to stimulate the brain, and I hope all older individuals in the country will try to maintain good chewing ability and by doing so helping themselves be healthy.

 

     

 Vice President of Taiwan Chen Chien-Jen emphasized that precautionary measurements in relation to dementia and muscular atrophy need to be seen from the perspective of prevention (left); Dean Hsu pointed out that the elderly need to train their chewing and swallowing muscles.

 

During the press conference Dean Hsu pointed, “Everyone has begun to pay attention to muscular atrophy among the elderly; however, the elderly also need to train their chewing and swallowing muscles. Our research has shown that aging slows down our brain cortex stimulation rate. Nevertheless, individuals who chew regularly on solid food are able to stimulate blood flow within the brain, which then slows down the rate of brain lipid degradation. This is a very effective means of preventing dementia. In traditional Taiwanese, there is a saying: “old is old, but they can still chew on potatoes”. This quote has a very unique meaning, namely even if one is old, they should not just eat liquid and soft foods. Instead they should still chew on all types of food that are within their chewing ability and by doing so they should slow down the development of dementia. Dean Hsu suggests that the elderly, in addition to maintaining an oral cleansing regimen and taking more exercise, can also eat softer nuts or sugar-free chewing gum in order to train their ability to chew.

 

The research team led by Dean Hsu used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to analyze how differences in a human’s gray matter are related to their ability to chew. Their research focused mainly on middle-aged to elderly individuals, their brain characteristics and their chewing functions. From the results, they found that chewing and brain degradation are linked. Elderly who have better chewing ability tends to show slower brain degradation. Their study won the first prize at the 2018 International Dental Medical Research Association Academic Research Poster Paper Competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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