Credit: © alekseyliss / Fotolia

Credit: © alekseyliss / Fotolia

Eating strawberries helps reduce mental effects of aging

Eating strawberries helps reduce mental effects of aging, according to the latest research from Salk Institute.

The Salk scientists have found evidence that a natural compound found in strawberries called fisetin reduces cognitive decline and inflammation associated with aging.

The researchers believe that fisetin may help prevent mental decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s and stroke.

Companies have put fisetin into various health products but there hasn’t been enough serious testing of the compound,” says Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory and senior author of the paper. “Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just Alzheimer’s, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it.”

The Salk press release explained more about the study methods:

The Salk team fed the 3-month-old prematurely aging mice a daily dose of fisetin with their food for 7 months. Another group of the prematurely aging mice was fed the same food without fisetin. During the study period, mice took various activity and memory tests. The team also examined levels of specific proteins in the mice related to brain function, responses to stress and inflammation.

At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking,” says Maher. Mice not treated with fisetin had difficulties with all the cognitive tests as well as elevated markers of stress and inflammation. Brain cells called astrocytes and microglia, which are normally anti-inflammatory, were now driving rampant inflammation. Mice treated with fisetin, on the other hand, were not noticeably different in behavior, cognitive ability or inflammatory markers at 10 months than a group of untreated 3-month-old mice with the same condition. Additionally, the team found no evidence of acute toxicity in the fisetin-treated mice, even at high doses of the compound.

Mice are not people, of course,” says Maher, “But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally.”

The study showing that eating strawberries helps reduce mental effects of aging was published in The Journals Of Gerentology Series A.

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REFERENCES:
1. “More Evidence Shows Natural Plant Compound May Reduce Mental Effects of Aging.” Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Salk Institute for Biological Studies, n.d. Web. 11 July 2017.
2. “Fisetin Reduces the Impact of Aging on Behavior and Physiology in the Rapidly Aging SAMP8 Mouse.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. Oxford University Press, 02 June 2017. Web. 11 July 2017.

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