~ Strawberries May Help Protect Your Aging Brain

Study Shows Fewer Effects Of Aging When Strawberries Were Added To The Diet

PR Newswire, 08-03-06

BOSTON, Aug 03, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A new study in laboratory animals suggests that strawberries and blueberries may help protect against the damage that causes a decline in learning and motor skills commonly seen with aging. The study published online in Neurobiology of Aging, was conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. In an experimental model of aging, supplementing the diet with either strawberries or blueberries helped preserve the animals' ability to learn, remember and relearn different patterns in a maze.

"This study suggests that there may be dietary strategies that help delay the decline of cognitive skills that is experienced through the normal aging process," explains Jim Joseph, PhD, a USDA Scientist and co-author of this study. "Adding strawberries and blueberries to the diet may help preserve learning and motor skills as we age."

Previous research has shown that oxidative stress plays an important role in the decline in brain function seen in normal aging. Strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants that help protect against such damage. Prior experiments suggested that these fruits help prevent the motor and cognitive deficits of aging. The present study was carried out to extend these findings by evaluating the ability of strawberries or blueberries to preserve brain function when rats are subjected to accelerated aging. Additional research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ranking the antioxidant content per serving of over 1,000 foods and beverages, revealed that strawberries ranked third overall, behind only blackberries and walnuts.

Strawberries are packed with essential vitamins, fiber, potassium and phytochemicals -- all of which are thought to have important health benefits. Eighty-eight percent of the nation's supply of strawberries comes from California. For more information go to www.calstrawberry.com.

Source:

Shukitt-Hale B, Carey AN, Jenkins D, Rabin BM, Joseph JA, 2006. Beneficial effects of fruit extracts on neuronal function and behavior in a rodent model of accelerated aging. Neurobiology of Aging. (In press). Abstract accessible at http://snipurl.com/u5h6.

SOURCE Neurobiology of Aging

CONTACT: Jaime Schwartz MS, RD, +1-646-935-4042, jaime.schwartz@ketchum.com, for Neurobiology of Aging

URL: http://www.prnewswire.com

http://snipurl.com/u5h6

http://www.calstrawberry.com www.prnewswire.com.


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