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September 3, 2010
Those of us who eat berries like strawberries, blackberries or blueberries (fresh or frozen) on a regular basis should not worry about their mental abilities and memory, even in the old age. The scientists say that the compounds which can be found in these types of berries can help in keeping our brain healthy and young, as well as supporting its essential functions and processes as we age.
The scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston have found out that the above mentioned berries contain high levels of polyphenolics, special natural compounds which have very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and can assist in slowing down aging processes. Consuming these berries is linked to lower risks of age-associated decline in brain function.
One of the authors of the study, Shibu Poulose, Ph.D., says that this is the first research that have found links between regular consumption of berries and maintaining proper brain functions. The scientists discovered that polyphenolics help the cells called microglia in toxin removal: in particular, cleaning the proteins which cause memory loss and other age-related mental problems.
“In aging, 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,” Poulose comments. Therefore, consuming berries, as well as some fruits with deep color pigments can help in achieving the above stated effects. The findings of this research were recently presented at the American Chemical Society meeting.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.