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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365990

Research Project: Nutrition and Regenerative Medicine for Preventing Age-Related Neurological Disorders

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Factors involved in the beneficial effects of polyphenols on neurochemical and behavioral changes in aging

Author
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Miller, Marshall
item Fisher, Derek
item RUTLEDGE, GRANT
item BIELINSKI, DONNA - JEAN MAYER HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER ON AGING AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY
item SCOTT, TAMMY - JEAN MAYER HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER ON AGING AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2019
Publication Date: 12/3/2019
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Miller, M.G., Fisher, D.R., Rutledge, G.A., Bielinski, D.F., Scott, T.M. 2019. Factors involved in the beneficial effects of polyphenols on neurochemical and behavioral changes in aging [abstract]. ICoFF2019 program book, Abstract #SY21-4, p. 49.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Average lifespans have increased dramatically over the last century and by the year 2050, 30% of the total population will be over 65 years of age. There is a high probability that older adults will be exhibiting common changes that occur in “normal” aging - impaired mobility and cognitive performance. These functional declines may be caused by long-term increases in and susceptibility to oxidative stress and inflammation. Therefore, foods high in polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, could prevent the occurrence of the neurochemical and behavioral changes that occur in aging. Dark-colored berry fruit, such as strawberries and blueberries, can prevent and even reverse age-related neuronal deficits in animal models of aging. In recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials conducted by our laboratory, berry fruit supplementation was able to improve some aspects of cognitive performance among healthy older adults (ages 60-75). Subsequent investigations showed several factors that might be involved in the beneficial effects of the berry fruit. For example, there was a relationship between cognitive performance and inflammation, as serum collected from berry-supplemented older adults reduced LPS-induced inflammatory-stress-mediated signals (e.g., nitric oxide, p < 0.05), relative to serum from placebo controls, in a cell model using stressed HAPI microglia in vitro. Furthermore, changes in circulating levels of specific phenolic compounds were correlated with changes in cognition among older adults. Additionally, daily consumption of berry fruit in rats had differential effects on cognition and motor performance, dependent on baseline function, with poor performers, who showed increased inflammation, being the most likely to benefit from berry fruit intake. Therefore, dietary interventions with polyphenol-rich berry fruit may be one strategy to forestall age-related neuronal deficits, and we are starting to determine what factors may be involved in these beneficial effects.