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Nutrition and Aging is an international forum for research on nutrition as a means of promoting healthy aging. It is particularly concerned with the impact of nutritional interventions on the metabolic and molecular mechanisms which modulate aging and age-associated diseases, including both biological responses on the part of the organism itself and its micro biome. Results emanating from both model organisms and clinical trials will be considered.
With regards to the latter, the journal will be rigorous in only accepting for publication well controlled, randomised human intervention trials that conform broadly with the current EFSA and US FDA guidelines for nutritional clinical studies. The journal will publish research articles, short communications, critical reviews and conference summaries, whilst open peer commentaries will be welcomed.
Abstract: Literature reviews suggest flavonoids, a sub-class of polyphenols, are beneficial for cognition. This is the first review examining the effect of consumption of all polyphenol groups on cognitive function. Inclusion criteria were polyphenol vs. control interventions and epidemiological studies with an objective measure of cognitive function. Participants were healthy or mildly cognitively impaired adults. Studies were excluded if clinical assessment or diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or cognitive impairment was the sole measure of cognitive function, or if the polyphenol was present with potentially confounding compounds such as caffeine (e.g. tea studies) or Ginkgo Biloba. 28 studies were identified; 4…berry juice studies, 4 cocoa studies, 13 isoflavone supplement studies, 3 other supplement studies, and 4 epidemiological surveys. Overall, 16 studies reported cognitive benefits following polyphenol consumption. Evidence suggests that consuming additional polyphenols in the diet can lead to cognitive benefits, however, the observed effects were small. Declarative memory and particularly spatial memory appear most sensitive to polyphenol consumption and effects may differ depending on polyphenol source. Polyphenol berry fruit juice consumption was most beneficial for immediate verbal memory, whereas isoflavone based interventions were associated with significant improvements for delayed spatial memory and executive function. Comparison between studies was hampered by methodological inconsistencies. Hence, there was no clear evidence for an association between cognitive outcomes and polyphenol dose response, duration of intervention, or population studied. In conclusion, however, the findings do imply that polyphenol consumption has potential to benefit cognition both acutely and chronically.
Keywords: Polyphenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, cognitive function, memory, executive function
Abstract: Brain iron is an essential nutrient for multiple functions, including gene expression, DNA synthesis, neurotransmission, myelination, oxygen transport, storage and activation, mitochondrial electron transport, numerous important metabolic processes and cofactor for several key enzymes of neurotransmitter biosynthesis. On the other hand, many investigators, among them the late Mark Smith, who was a pioneer neuroscientist and prominent investigator with regards to brain oxidative stress (OS) and iron in Alzheimer's disease, have identified iron as an highly reactive element that can promote OS processes within the brain and might increase the toxicity of environmental or endogenous toxins. It is suggested that iron…accumulation in the brain is capable of initiating free-radical reactions, which subsequently induce progressive loss of neurons, followed by a decrement in neuronal function characteristic of the ageing process. Indeed, it has become apparent that iron progressively accumulates in the brain as a function of age and that iron-induced OS can cause neurodegeneration. Chelation therapy was previously introduced as a novel therapy concept and rationale for the development of metal-binding drugs for neurodegeneration. The present review will discuss the involvement of dysregulation of brain iron homeostasis in the ageing process, addressing the potential importance of iron chelating therapeutic approaches.
Keywords: Brain, iron, ageing, iron chelation, neuroprotection
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia with its pathology considered to be the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Amongst a large variety of genes analysed, the APO epsilon genotype, represents the only firmly established common genetic risk factor for dementia, with the APOε4 carriers being at 3–16 fold increased risk of AD. Although, the mechanisms by which APOε genotype impacts on AD progression are not fully understood, recent evidence suggests that a large component of the increased risk associated with an APOε4 genotype is likely to be due to increased neuroinflammation and…the subsequent loss of cognitive functions. There is increasing evidence from human epidemiological and rodent studies that the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can beneficially influence normal cognitive function. Investigation of the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms indicates a positive impact of these dietary components on neurogenesis and neuroinflammation. This review will summarise the evidence of the impact and mechanisms underlying the impact of APOε genotype on dementia and AD and the potential role of dietary flavonoids and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty in modulating neuroinflammation and neurocognitive performances. Examination of molecular targets is suggestive that increased intakes of these dietary components have the potential alone or in an additive fashion to ameliorate the pathological consequences of the APOε4 allele. However research examining the ability of dietary strategies in this large population genotype subgroup is distinctly lacking.
Abstract: Dietary patterns may play an important role in protecting the brain from the cellular and cognitive dysfunction associated with the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases. Tree nuts are showing promise as possible dietary interventions for age-related brain dysfunction. Tree nuts are an important source of essential nutrients, like vitamin E, folate, and fiber. Tree nuts also contain a variety of components, such as phytochemicals like flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids, as well as monounsaturated and omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids that have the potential to combat age-related brain dysfunction. Evidence is accumulating that suggests that tree nuts and their…bioactive constituents have the potential to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, as indicated by decreased lipid peroxidation in vivo and reduced production of the free radical nitric oxide and the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha in vitro. Also, tree nut consumption might have the ability to mitigate some of the cognitive decline associated with aging. Here we review the current knowledge of how the consumption of nuts may improve brain health, specifically focusing on walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and pecans.
Abstract: A number of contributory factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. One of these factors is chronic inflammation, with the over expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute phase reactants consistently observed in the post mortem brain and plasma of AD patients. Furthermore, cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, impaired vascular function and elevated LDL cholesterol, also appear to be predictive of increased dementia risk. Although classically associated with cardiovascular disease risk, both vascular and immune mediators may have direct deleterious effects on the brain, which contribute to the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as well…as impairments in memory and neuro-cognitive function. Dietary agents previously noted for their ability to modulate these cardiovascular risk factors leading to reductions in chronic, low-grade inflammation and/or vascular dysfunction, may also possess an ability to moderate the progression of dementia. Flavonoid-rich foods such as tea, berries and cocoa have been reported to attenuate age-related deficits in memory and cognition, although the precise mechanisms of their action are unclear. As these flavonoid rich-foods/beverages also appear to mediate inflammatory processes, attenuate endothelial dysfunction and reduce hypertension, such actions may contribute to their efficacy in the brain. This review will explore these concepts with the view to further unravelling the actions of flavonoids and flavonoid-rich foods against brain disease and to highlight the importance measuring such factors in future clinical studies.
Keywords: Flavonoid, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular function, immune system