Compound In Strawberries Found To Be A Key To Good Memory

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Compound In Strawberries Found To Be A Key To Good Memory
Photo – mali maeder –

Diet-derived antioxidants continue to be investigated for their health-promoting effects, including protection of the human brain from age-related damage and improvement of memory. A recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A published new information on fisetin – an antioxidant found most abundantly in strawberries, stating that this might represent a key defense component against neurodegenerative disorders. [1]

The research suggests that fisetin could play an active role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. The study’s authors observed a reduction in cognitive decline and brain inflammation after they treated mice with fisetin, which also serves as the coloring agent of the luscious fruits. The researchers confirmed their hypothesis on the effectiveness of fisetin against brain aging and cognitive dysfunction.

The investigation was conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where the researchers genetically programmed the mice to develop Alzheimer’s. When fed with fisetin, the animals retained their normal cognitive skills. One of the authors involved in the study is Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist at Salk.

Maher and her colleagues have been studying the potential of fisetin to protect brain health for more than a decade. In 2006, the Salk researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that fisetin could stimulate pathways that enhance long-term memory. Fisetin caught the attention of Maher when she examined a collection of flavonoids, which are plant substances that have antioxidant activities. [2]

In 2014, Salk published a follow-up study in Aging Cell that showed how fisetin affected animals prone to Alzheimer’s. Maher and her team observed Alzheimer’s-fated mice water supplemented with fisetin and compared them to mice who did not receive fisetin and normal mice without Alzheimer’s genes. After a year, they noticed that the mice supplemented with fisetin had cognitive abilities similar to those of genetically normal mice. [3]

Maher is one of the leading proponents of fisetin’s value as a novel neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing molecule. Back in 2009, she published a paper that highlighted the ability of fisetin to reduce the age-related decline in brain function. The paper also noted the therapeutic value of fisetin in delaying the decline in cognitive and motor functions – a characteristic that is often associated with normal aging. [4]

Fisetin is a relatively newly-discovered compound that was identified a little more than fifteen years ago. Other studies have posited the compound as having anti-cancer and anti-diabetes mechanisms. Fisetin is most commonly found in fruits and vegetables listed below:

Cucumber with skin

Further Reading:

How To Get Started Growing Strawberries


[1] Currais A et al. June 2, 2017. Fisetin Reduces the Impact of Aging on Behavior and Physiology in the Rapidly Aging SAMP8 Mouse.

[2] Salk Institute for Biological Studies . A natural chemical found in strawberries boosts memory in healthy mice.

[3] Currais A et al. April 2014. Modulation of p25 and inflammatory pathways by fisetin maintains cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice.

[4] Pamela Maher. December 2009. Genes & Nutrition. Modulation of multiple pathways involved in the maintenance of neuronal function during aging by fisetin.

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