Submitted to: Nutritional Neuroscience
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2003
Publication Date: April 3, 2005
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Carey, A.N., Joseph, J.A. Phytochemicals in foods and everages: Effects on the Central Nervous System. In lieberman, H.R., Kanarek, R.B., and Prasad, C.eds. Nutritional Neuroscience. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC Boca Raton, FL, 2005, 393-404. Technical Abstract: Increased susceptibility to the long-term effects of oxidative stress and inflammatory insults is thought to be a contributing factor to the decrements in cognitive and/or motor performance seen in aging and other neurodegenerative diseases. There has been a growing interest in a number of pharmacological approaches to help slow the rate of both cognitive and functional declines associated with these increases in OS and inflammation, with view towards maintaining a positive quality of life and reducing health care costs. However, while scientists and pharmaceutical companies continue to invest tremendous resources into identifying agents that could be used to alleviate debilitating neurodegenerative disorders that continue to afflict numerous people around the world, an existing source of potentially beneficial agents, namely phytochemicals, would appear to have significant benefits that have yet to be fully exploited. Phytochemicals occur ubiquitously in foods of plant origin (e.g., fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, tea, and wine). There are few studies which have investigated their role with regard to the central nervous system (CNS), such as their effects on brain function and behavior; this chapter focuses on nutritional interventions and the role played by the phytochemical components found in foods on reducing the deleterious effects of OS and inflammation in the CNS.