A natural compound found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables could help to prevent Alzheimer's disease and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases, new research suggests.
Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, and colleagues found that treating mouse models of aging with fisetin led to a reduction in cognitive decline and brain inflammation.
Senior study author Pamela Maher, of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk, and colleagues recently reported their findings in The Journals of Gerontology Series A.
Fisetin is a flavanol present in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, persimmons, apples, grapes, onions, and cucumbers.
Not only does fisetin act as a coloring agent for fruits and vegetables, but studies have also indicated that the compound has antioxidant properties, meaning that it can help to limit cell damage caused by free radicals. Fisetin has also been shown to reduce inflammation.
Over the past 10 years, Maher and colleagues have conducted a number of studies showing that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of fisetin could help to protect brain cells against the effects of aging.
One such study, published in 2014, found that fisetin reduced memory loss in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. However, that study focused on the effects of fisetin in mice with familial Alzheimer's, which the researchers note only accounts for up to 3 percent of all Alzheimer's cases.
For the new study, Maher and team sought to determine whether fisetin might...