Berries Vs. Brain Damage

15Jul11

According to a report presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, the first evidence has been found that the polyphenol compounds found in fruit and vegetables – particularly those fruit and vegetables which are deep red, orange, or blue in colour – may combat age-related brain damage by activating the brain’s natural “housekeeping” mechanism, the microglia which “clean up” biochemical debris – biochemical debris which if not cleaned up can accumulate and lead to age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Dr. Shibu Poulose of the Human Nutrition Center on Aging in Boston, who led the study into the effect of blueberry, strawberry, and acai berry extracts on cultures of mouse brain cells, the berry extracts blocked the effect of a protein which would otherwise have stopped the microglia from performing their function:

In ageing, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up.

In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain.

Our research suggests that the polyphenolics in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. These findings are the first to show these effects of berries.

Source: Berries ‘help to clean up brain’ (dead link) [Yahoo! News, 30th August 2010]

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