Berries help protect brain against ageing

August 24th, 2010 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 24 (IANS) Eating berries could be a pleasant way of protecting the brain against ageing and memory loss.
Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are rich in compounds called polyphenolics, which help the brain carry out ‘housekeeping’ functions.

Taking fruits with deep orange, red or blue pigments can even reverse brain power loss, according to a study of lab rats fed berry-rich diet, reports the Telegraph.

“The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline,” Shibu Poulose told the American Chemical Society.

Poulose, who conducted research with the US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service in Boston, explained: “In ageing, microglia (specific kind of cells) fail to do their work, and debris builds up.”

Polyphenolics help microglia, which cleanse toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other symptoms of mental decline.

Besides, “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,” added Poulose.

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