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Research Project: Nutrition, Brain, and Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Perspective: neuroregenerative nutrition

item Steindler, Dennis - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Reynolds, Brent - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Advances in Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2017
Publication Date: 7/1/2017
Citation: Steindler, D., Reynolds, B.A. 2017. Perspective: neuroregenerative nutrition. Advances in Nutrition. 8:546-557.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Living healthy during aging is dependent upon optimal cellular and organ functioning that contribute to the regenerative ability of the body during the lifespan and especially during injury and disease. While diet may help to maintain cellular fitness during periods of stability or modest decline in the regenerative function of an organ, this approach is inadequate in an aged system where the ability to maintain homeostasis is further challenged by aging alone and the ensuing suboptimal functioning of the regenerative unit: tissue-specific stem cells. Focused nutritional approaches can be used as an intervention to diminish decline in regenerative capacity. This article brings together nutrient therapeutic approaches with the fields of aging, immunology, neurodegenerative disease and cancer to propose ways in which diet and nutrition can work with standard of care and integrated medicine to help improve healthy and active brain aging. Regenerative medicine has exploded over the past two decades based on the discovery of stem cells in nearly every organ system of the body, including the brain where neural stem cells persist in discrete areas throughout life. This fact in combination with uncovering the genetic basis of plasticity in somatic cells and cancer stem cells opens a door to a world where maintenance and regeneration of organ systems maintains health and extends life expectancy beyond current natural limits. An area that has received little attention in the field of regenerative medicine is the influence on regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic potential of nutrition, and we propose that a strong relationship exists between brain regenerative medicine and nutrition. Nutritional intervention at key times of life could be used to not only maintain optimal functioning of regenerative units as we age but can also play a key role in therapeutic treatments to combat injury, disease, in particular those that occur in the later third of life.