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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353060

Research Project: Nutrition, Brain, and Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: The effects of intermittent wild blueberry feeding on inflammation and motor and cognitive behavior

Author
item Fisher, Derek
item Cahoon, Danielle - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Miller, Marshall - Duke University
item Bielinski, Donna - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Shukitt-hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2018
Publication Date: 11/3/2018
Citation: Fisher, D.R., Cahoon, D., Miller, M.G., Bielinski, D.F., Shukitt Hale, B. 2018. The effects of intermittent wild blueberry feeding on inflammation and motor and cognitive behavior [abstract]. 2018 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting Program # 291.17.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Neuroinflammation has been identified as a major contributing factor in the behavioral declines seen in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that continuous daily consumption of blueberry (BB) improved age-related declines in motor and cognitive function in old animals and animal models of accelerated aging and neuroinflammation. However, the optimal intake of BBs is currently unknown, and most people do not consume them every day. It is possible that intermittent consumption of BBs could: 1) have increased beneficial effects relative to continuous consumption, due to the repeated stimulation of cellular repair mechanisms; 2) have a reduced beneficial effect, as the total dose is lower; or 3) have the same effect as continuous consumption, if metabolites are retained in tissue. To evaluate the beneficial effects of blueberries on motor and cognitive function relative to the frequency of blueberry consumption, the diets of aged F344 rats (18 mo; n = 15/group) were supplemented with either a continuous control diet (modified NIH-31 diet), a continuous 2% wild blueberry diet, or an intermittent 2% wild blueberry diet for 2 months prior to behavioral testing. Rats in the intermittent 2% blueberry diet group consumed the 2% blueberry diet for 3 days, followed by a 4-day control diet (washout period) each week for the duration of the study. Serum samples were collected pre-diet and at the end of the study to assess inflammation. Results showed that continuous BB-fed rats performed better on the motor tasks and committed less errors in the radial arm water maze compared to control-fed animals. The intermittent-fed BB group had some positive effects, but did not perform as well as the continuous-fed BB group. A subsequent in vitro study using the serum showed that BB supplementation could enhance anti-inflammation capability, and frequency of intake determined level of protection. Based on these findings, daily consumption of BB may improve age-related deficits in motor function, cognition, and inflammation, and the frequency of eating BBs can have an effect on these measures.