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Title: Cognition: the new frontier for nuts and berries

item PRIBIS, PETER - Andrews University
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2014
Publication Date: 7/1/2014
Citation: Pribis, P., Shukitt Hale, B. 2014. Cognition: the new frontier for nuts and berries. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 100(suppl):347S–352S.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Inclusion of nuts in the diet is associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, gallstones, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome and visceral obesity; frequent consumption of berries seems to be associated with improved cardiovascular and cancer outcomes, improved immune functions and decreased recurrence of urinary tract infections. Consumption of nuts and berries is associated with reduction of oxidative damage, inflammation, vascular reactivity, platelet aggregation and improvement of immune functions. However, only recently have the effects of nut and berry consumption on the brain, different neural systems and cognition been studied. There is growing evidence that the synergy and interaction of all the nutrients and other bioactive components in nuts and berries can have beneficial effect on brain and cognition. Regular nut and/or berry consumption could possibly be used as an adjunctive therapeutic strategy in the treatment and prevention of several neurodegenerative diseases and age-related brain dysfunctions. A number of animal and a growing number of human studies show that moderate-duration dietary supplementation with nuts and/or berry fruit is capable of altering cognitive performance in humans, perhaps forestalling or reversing the effects of neurodegeneration in aging.