AMAZING strawberry compound may offer anti-aging, life-prolonging and cognitive benefits
(NaturalHealth365) For many, enjoying ruby-red fresh, ripe strawberries is one of the joys of summer. These sweet, tasty berries are not only a treat for the senses but are packed with vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols – or plant compounds – that support health and longevity.
Researchers believe that one strawberry compound in particular, a flavonoid known as fisetin, may offer promise against Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects close to 7 million Americans. In a scientific review, scientists revealed a molecular “toolbox” of fisetin properties that may have the potential to help prevent and target this devastating disease. Let’s see what tricks fisetin has up its sleeve when it comes to protecting against neurodegenerative conditions.
Neuroprotective, anti-aging fisetin destroys obsolete “rogue” cells
One reason for scientific interest in fisetin is that it increases apoptosis, or pre-programmed cell death, in senescent cells. These are worn-out cells that have outlived their usefulness and linger in the body, where they not only refuse to die but cause trouble by releasing inflammatory toxins.
The resultant inflammation is believed to play a role in the development of age-related conditions – such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. By destroying senescent cells, fisetin reduces inflammation and clears the way for the growth of healthy new cells. And – of all the flavonoids – fisetin is believed to be the most senolytic.
Fisetin appears to protect against Alzheimer’s disease through multiple mechanisms
In a review published in Molecular Neurobiology, researchers praised fisetin’s antioxidant and neuroprotective effects and reported that it reduces deposits of beta-amyloid plaque implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, fisetin improves the outgrowth of dendrites used in brain cell signaling, protects neurons in the brain from damage, and suppresses the expression of inflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-6. In animal studies, fisetin reduced aluminum-induced oxidative stress and inflammation (very significant, as aluminum toxicity has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease).
Finally, fisetin promotes cell communication in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with long-term memory. This flavonoid has been shown to improve memory and learning in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease – so it’s no surprise that it’s currently being studied for its therapeutic benefits in humans with Alzheimer’s disease.
Fisetin is classified as a nootropic, or compound capable of boosting cognitive function
Can fisetin in strawberries really sharpen cognitive function? While animal research has been promising, studies examining the impact of fisetin on human cognition are limited. But, one recent study did highlight an association between the consumption of fisetin-rich strawberries and improved cognitive function.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2021 in the British Journal of Nutrition, healthy men and women between the ages of 60 and 75 were given either the equivalent of two cups of fresh strawberries a day or a placebo for 90 days. The team found that the strawberry group performed better on spatial navigation tasks and displayed increased word recognition in a verbal learning test. Clearly, the nootropic effects of fisetin deserve further study.
Red strawberries may help protect against the “blues”
In 2020, an estimated 14.8 million American adults had at least one depressive episode. Common symptoms of depression include loss of interest in normal activities, feelings of sadness and guilt, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. If you experience these symptoms, make an appointment to see your integrative doctor or mental health professional.
Studies suggest that consuming flavonoid-rich strawberries may help guard against depression. In an extensive review published in 2019 in Nutrients, the researchers pointed out that multiple epidemiological studies have shown that higher flavonoid consumption is associated with a decreased risk of developing depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.
You can increase your dietary intake of fisetin through dietary sources. The high-ringers for fisetin content – at 160 micrograms per gram – are ripe strawberries. Apples and persimmons are next in line, followed by grapes, onions, kiwis, and cucumbers. Fisetin – sometimes accompanied by quercetin – is also available as a supplement. For maximum bioavailability, look for a liposomal formula, and take it along with healthy fat. Integrative health practitioners may advise fisetin in amounts of 100 mg to 500 mg a day – but check with your own doctor before supplementing.
One thing to keep in mind, when it comes to eating strawberries, always choose organic to avoid the unwanted chemicals sprayed on conventional crops.
By the way, animal studies have shown that fisetin can extend lifespan by 10 percent – and studies to evaluate the flavonoid’s anti-aging effects in humans are currently ongoing.
While fisetin from strawberries won’t help you live “forever,” it may be able to help shield against neurodegenerative conditions – and just may help prolong your time on earth. Only time – and ongoing studies – will tell for sure. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to enjoy a bowl of organic strawberries!
Editor’s note: To learn more about how to avoid dementia, own the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit, created by yours truly, Jonathan Landsman – featuring 31 of the very best integrative brain health experts in the world.
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