The UK’s favourite summer fruit eases cognitive decline, say researchers
Hot August weather and chilled strawberries – is there a better combination? New research says strawberries may also be good for our brainpower, especially as we age. Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory in La Jolla, California, found that treating mice with a compound in the fruit known as fisetin helped ease cognitive deterioration. Mice not treated with fisetin showed signs of memory difficulties, as well as stress disorders.
Senior author, Pamela Maher, said: “We think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with ageing, generally.”
The research focused on mice that had been genetically engineered to age prematurely. At 10 months, these mice were already showing signs of physical and mental decline, which is not usually found in mice and other rodents until they are two years old. The team then fed these mice with fisetin for seven months. Another group of prematurely ageing mice were not fed the compound.
During the study, all the mice were given cognitive and memory tests. Results showed that mice not treated with fisetin had difficulties with all the tests, and showed signs of elevated stress and inflammation. Fisetin-treated mice experienced no safety concerns.
Maher added: “At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking.” Food for thought.