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Title: Raspberry supplementation alleviates age-related motor dysfunction in select populations

item Thangthaeng, Nopporn
item Miller, Marshall
item Kelly, Megan
item SMITH, DONALD - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2016
Publication Date: 11/12/2016
Citation: Thangthaeng, N., Miller, M.G., Kelly, M.E., Smith, D.E., Shukitt Hale, B. 2016. Raspberry supplementation alleviates age-related motor dysfunction in select populations. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings. Program No. 596-18.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Age-related declines in balance, muscle strength and coordination often lead to a higher incidence of falling. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of distress, pain, injury, loss of confidence, and ultimately, loss of independence and death. Previous studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that berry supplementation improves age-related declines in motor function even when fed to aged animals. However, it is still unclear whether the requisite daily intake for efficacy differs based on motor capability. The purpose of this study was to explore the interaction between baseline motor performance and daily raspberry intake required to achieve improvement and/or preservation in motor function. Aged male F344 (17 mos old) rats were tested for baseline (pre-test) balance, muscle strength and coordination and divided into good, average and poor performers based on their motor composite score (MCS), which was comprised of tests for strength (grip strength, wire suspension, and inclined screen), balance (plank and rod walking) and endurance (accelerating rotarod). Rats in each category were fed with either a 0-, 1-, or 2-percent raspberry-supplemented diet (RB). After 8 weeks on their respective diets, the rats were retested (post-test). Overall, the good performers performed worse in all of the post-tests compared to the pre-tests regardless of their diet. Interestingly, 1-percent and 2-percent RB appeared to preserve the performance of the good performers and improve the performance of poor performers on plank walking (p< 0.05). Two-percent RB improved post-test grip strength of the poor performers (p<0.05). Poor performers fed with 1-percent or 2-percent RB had higher post-test MCS (p< 0.05), while 2-percent RB lowered post-test MCS in the good performers (p< 0.05). The findings from this study identified poor performers as being most likely to benefit from daily consumption of half to 1 cup of raspberry to improve/preserve motor function. When extended to humans, raspberry may reduce fall risk, extend independence, and improve quality of life in the aging population.