Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain

USDA-ARS, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University , 711 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, United States.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Impact Factor: 3.11). 02/2012; 60(23). DOI: 10.1021/jf2036033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Increased lifespans have led to population aging and brought attention to healthcare concerns associated with old age. A growing body of preclinical and clinical research has identified neurological benefits associated with the consumption of berry fruits. In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits also has direct effects on the brain. Intake of these fruits may help to prevent age-related neurodegeneration and resulting changes in cognitive and motor function. In cell and animal models, berry fruits mediate signaling pathways involved in inflammation and cell survival in addition to enhancing neuroplasticity, neurotransmission, and calcium buffering, all of which lead to attenuation of age- and pathology-related deficits in behavior. Recent clinical trials have extended these antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cognition-sparing effects to humans. This paper reviews recent evidence for the beneficial signaling effects of berry fruits on the brain and behavior.

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