Beetroots could help in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.
Betanin, which is a compound that gives the vegetable its distinctive red colour, may slow the accumulation of protein plaque tangles, which are associated with the condition, in the brain.
Study author Dr Li-June Ming, from the University of South Florida, said: 'Our data suggest that betanin, a compound in beet extract, shows some promise as an inhibitor of certain chemical reactions in the brain that are involved in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
'This is just a first step, but we hope that our findings will encourage other scientists to look for structures similar to betanin that could be used to synthesise drugs that could make life a bit easier for those who suffer from this disease.'
Alzheimer's disease affects around 5.5 million people in the US and 850,000 in the UK. Most sufferers live just eight-to-10 years after their diagnosis.
Dementia cases, of which Alzheimer's is the most common form of the disorder, are expected to treble globally by 2050.