Berries are known to contain anti-oxidants which help slow age-related deficits, but now the role of polyphenolics, also present, has been elucidated.
Shibu Poulose, U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, revealed that polyphenolic compounds activate the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism. During the process of autophagy, the housekeeping cells, microglia, normally remove and recycle biochemical debris that otherwise would interfere with brain function.
In aging, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up. In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain. The researchers suggest that the polyphenolics in berries restore the normal housekeeping function.
- Presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society