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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Beneficial Effects of Fruit and Vegetable Supplementation on Neuronal Signaling and Behavior in Aging: Beyond Antioxidants

item Joseph, James
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Casadesus, Gemma - CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV

Submitted to: Nutrients, Stress and Medical Disorders
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2004
Publication Date: January 8, 2006
Citation: Joseph, J.A., Shukitt Hale, B., Casadesus, G. 2006. The beneficial effects of fruit and vegetable supplementation on neuronal signaling and behavior in aging: beyond antioxidants. In: Stagg, J.J. and Foster, J. G. Editors. Nutrients, Stress and Medical Disorders. Totowa, MJ:Humana Press. p. 67-82

Interpretive Summary: not needed

Technical Abstract: Numerous epidemiological studies have indicated that individuals who consume a diet containing high amounts of fruits and vegetables lower their risk of developing age-related diseases such as Alzheimer Disease. Research from our laboratory has suggested that dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts high in antioxidants (e.g., blueberry, spinach) can decrease the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress (OS) that occurs in aging, and that these reductions are expressed as improvements in behavior. Additional research has suggested that these beneficial effects may involve much more than antioxidant/anti-inflammatory effects. It appears that the very powerful actions of the polyphenolic compounds found in fruits, such as blueberries, may also affect mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and subsequent neuronal communication. Since the application of information from research involving molecular, biological, and/or genetic determinants to problems in aging may be years away, nutritional methods may possibly be powerful tools to provide a more immediate remedy to forestalling or altering the course of age-related deficits in neuronal function and behavior, subsequently increasing the quality of life in aging populations.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015