We’ve all been told that five a day keeps the doctor away but now it looks like certain fruits and vegetables could help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by counteracting inflammation in the brain. Strawberries get their bright color from a compound called fisetin and studies have shown that it could play a role in countering many diseases, including cancer, thanks to its antioxidant properties. Now researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, have looked at the effects of fisetin on aging mice that have been genetically engineered to develop the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease. They found that mice who were given a daily dose of fisetin for ten months performed better on cognitive tests and showed lower rates of inflammation and stress in their brain cells than a control group.
The researchers also found that in the control group mice, the neurons that are usually anti-inflammatory (called microglia and astrocytes) were now promoting inflammation but this wasn’t the case in the mice treated with fisetin. This adds to growing evidence that inflammation plays an important role in the disease. Researchers are still trying to unravel exactly how it affects the cells of the brain and the role played by beta amyloid and tau in promoting inflammation.
Read the full study here.