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Report shows berries are good for your brain

August 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new report suggests eating blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries may help to keep your brain healthy and young.Based on a study involving mice, researchers believe certain compounds in berries, called polyphenolics, clean up and recycle toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and mental decline. Scientists explain, cells called microglia act as housekeepers to keep the brain functioning properly, but fail to do their work as we get older.

"In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain. Our research suggests that the polyphenolics in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. These findings are the first to show these effects of berries," said Shibu Poulose, Ph.D. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Poulose says the study provides further evidence of the benefit of eating foods rich in polyphenolics, including walnuts and other fruits and vegetables.

The study was presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.


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