Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recent Advances in Berry Supplementation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Authors
item Willis, Lauren
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Joseph, James

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2008
Publication Date: December 2, 2008
Citation: Willis, L., Shukitt Hale, B., Joseph, J.A. Recent Advances in Berry Supplementation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2009. 12:91-94.

Technical Abstract: To summarize recent findings and current concepts in the beneficial effects of berry consumption on brain function during aging. Berryfruit supplementation has continued to demonstrate efficacy in reversing age-related cognitive decline in animal studies. In terms of the mechanisms behind the effects of berries on the central nervous system, recent studies have demonstrated the bioavailability of berry polyphenols in several animal models. These studies have revealed that flavonoids and polyphenols from berries do accumulate in the brain following long-term consumption. Finally, several compelling studies have revealed that berries can influence cell signaling cascades both in vivo and in cell culture systems. These studies underscore the developing theory that berries and antioxidant-rich foods may be acting as more than just oxygen radical neutralizers in the aging central nervous system. Antioxidant-rich berries consumed in the diet can positively impact learning and memory in the aged animal. This effect on cognition is thought to be due to the direct interaction of berry polyphenols with aging neurons, reducing the impact of stress-related cellular signals and increasing the capacity of neurons to maintain proper functioning during aging.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014