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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dietary Supplementation with Fruit Polyphenolics Ameliorates Age-Related Deficits in Behavior and Neuronal Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Authors
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Meterko, Vanessa - SIMMONS COLLEGE
item Carey, Amanda
item Bielinski, Donna - HNRCA-TUFTS UNIV
item Mcguie, Tony - HORT.& FOOD RES. INST.
item Galli, Rachel - SIMMONS COLLEGE
item Joseph, James

Submitted to: American Aging Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2005
Publication Date: May 2, 2005
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Meterko, V., Carey, A.N., Bielinski, D., Mcguie, T., Galli, R., Joseph, J.A. 2005. Dietary supplementation with fruit polyphenolics ameliorates age-related deficits in behavior and neuronal markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Age. 2005, 27, 49-57.

Interpretive Summary: Dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts can ameliorate age-related declines in measures of learning, memory, motor performance, and brain communication in our rat model. To date, blueberries (BB) have proved most effective at improving measures of motor performance, spatial learning and memory, and brain functioning in old rats. In an effort to further characterize the properties of fruits rich in color and correspondingly high in anthocyanins (a class of phytochemicals) and other polyphenolics, old male Fischer rats were fed a well balanced control diet, or the diet supplemented with 2% extract from either BB, cranberry (CB), black currant (BC), or boysenberry (BY) fruit for 8 weeks. The BC and CB diets enhanced brain communication as measured by striatal (a brain area responsible for motor performance) dopamine release, while the BB and CB diets were effective in ameliorating deficits in motor performance and hippocampal (a brain area responsible for memory performance) heat shock protein 70 neuroprotection; these changes in HSP 70 were positively correlated with performance on the inclined screen. It appears that the polyphenols such as anthocyanins, especially those uniquely present in blueberries and cranberries, have the ability to improve muscle tone, strength and balance in aging rats, as well as the ability to restore the brain's ability to generate a neuroprotective response to stress.

Technical Abstract: Dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts can ameliorate age-related declines in measures of learning, memory, motor performance, and neuronal signal transduction in our rat model. To date, blueberries (BB) have proved most effective at improving measures of motor performance, spatial learning and memory, and neuronal functioning in old rats. In an effort to further characterize the bioactive properties of fruits rich in color and correspondingly high in anthocyanins and other polyphenolics, 19 month old male Fischer rats were fed a well balanced control diet, or the diet supplemented with 2% extract from either BB, cranberry (CB), black currant (BC), or boysenberry (BY) fruit for 8 weeks. The BC and CB diets enhanced neuronal signal transduction as measured by striatal dopamine release, while the BB and CB diets were effective in ameliorating deficits in motor performance and hippocampal HSP 70 neuroprotection; these changes in HSP 70 were positively correlated with performance on the inclined screen. It appears that the polyphenols such as anthocyanins, especially those uniquely present in blueberries and cranberries, have the ability to improve muscle tone, strength and balance in aging rats, as well as the ability to restore the brain's ability to generate a neuroprotective response to stress.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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