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Researchers found that mice consuming a polyphenol-rich grape and blueberry extract showed improvements to spatial learning and memory.
New research results1 published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience suggest berry polyphenols from grape and blueberry extracts may improve spatial learning and memory in mice.
Researchers studied 20 adult (6-week old) and 24 middle-aged (16-month old) male mice that were given either a polyphenol-rich extract from grape and blueberry (PEGB; 500 mg/kg of body weight per day) or a control diet for eight weeks. The PEGB diet included high contents of flavonoids, stilbenes, and phenolic acids.
Based on improved performance in the Morris water maze task, the polyphenol supplementation was found to ameliorate the spatial-navigation learning profile of the middle-aged mice, thereby improving memory. Researchers also observed higher levels of hippocampal calmodulin kinase II (CAMKII) mRNA levels and increased expression of nerve growth neurotrophic (NGF) mRNA levels in middle-aged mice supplemented with PEGB, indicating cognitive improvements.
“Thus, these data suggest that supplementation with polyphenols could be an efficient nutritional way to prevent age-induced cognitive decline,” researchers concluded.
French ingredients firm Activ’Inside shared the results of this study in a press release, as well as another recent review2 that also speaks to the cognitive benefits of berry polyphenols.
The review outlines why polyphenols from berries are particularly applicable to cognitive health areas, including promising research behind flavonols, anthocyanins, and stilbenes found in berries. Aside from discussing potential benefits to memory impairment and neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and humans, the review also explores bioavailability data suggesting “most polyphenols, or at least key metabolites, can access the brain in sufficient concentrations.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine
1. Bensalem J et al., “Dietary polyphenol supplementation prevents alterations of spatial navigation in middle-aged mice,” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 10 (February 2016): 9
2. Bensalem J et al., “Protective effects of berry polyphenols against age-related cognitive impairment,” Nutrition and Aging, vol. 3, no. 2–4 (February 2016): 89–106