Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology
A recent study, presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, analyzed the effects of certain compounds found in berries1. Researchers found that antioxidant compounds from berries may activate and protect special cells within the brain (known as microglia) which help remove the buildup of toxins that can lead to memory decline.
As part of the normal aging process, microglia can become dysfunctional, either failing to do their job of “cleaning up” the brain or actually damaging healthy cells, both of which are associated with age-related cognitive decline. This new research suggests that consuming antioxidant-rich berries, including blueberries, strawberries and blackberries, may help protect the brain from the gradual buildup of harmful toxins that can affect proper cognitive function.
In addition to their brain-boosting benefits, berries may also help counter the effects of aging on the surface of the skin. A recent study published inExperimental Dermatology revealed that ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound found in various berries, may actually reverse skin damage (including wrinkles and inflammation) caused by UV-B radiation2.
Researchers used a topical preparation of ellagic acid on human skin cells and hairless mice exposed to UV-B radiation. Results showed that the application of ellagic acid to the skin prevented inflammatory response, as well as the destruction of collagen, the compound responsible for skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Another similar study analyzed the effect of antioxidant-rich bog blueberry extract on human dermal fibroblasts (skin cells) exposed to UV-B radiation3. Researchers discovered that the extract reduced collagen breakdown and inflammation in the exposed skin cells. The study author hypothesized that the anthocyanins (antioxidant compounds) found in the blueberry extract may have a protective power against UV-induced photoaging, a common cause of wrinkles.
I believe in the power of antioxidants – and this research only confirms my thoughts that a healthy diet can help make the natural aging process as smooth and graceful as possible. I recommend eating plenty of dark-skinned fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries and grapes, as these typically contain a higher concentration of antioxidants. I particularly recommend eating fresh fruit and/or freshly prepared fruit juice, or frozen fruit when fresh is not available. Alternatively, one may drink commercially prepared, vacuum packed fruit juice. For skin protection and preservation, I suggest looking for a facial cream or serum that is enriched with antioxidants such as resveratrol (commonly found in grape skin), vitamin C or CoQ10. Happy aging!
As always, to your good health,
David N. Ilfeld, M.D.
1. Poulose S, Joseph J. Eating berries may activate the brain’s natural housekeeper for healthy aging. (Presented at the semi-annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, August 24-30, 2010).
2. Bae JY, Choi JS, Kang SW, Lee YJ, Park J, Kang YH.Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):e182-90.
3. Bae JY, Lim SS, Kim SJ, Choi JS, Park J, Ju SM, Han SJ, Kang IJ, Kang YH. Bog blueberry anthocyanins alleviate photoaging in ultraviolet-B irradiation-induced human dermal fibroblasts. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Jun;53(6):726-38.
- What if you had access to a Whole Food Supplement that had an ingredient equal to 625 times the antioxidant potency of blueberries gram for gram?
- What if you had the potency of eating the nutritional equivalent of 20 servings of fruits and vegetables in one tasty 3 oz serving?
- What if you had a standardized blend of broccoli, sprouts,tomatoes, spinach, brussels sprouts, & onion?
- What if you had a natural pure form of the most nourishing fruit on earth, the Pomegranate?
- What if you had a patented botanical adaptogen formula that has shown in human clinical trials to increase the body’s resistance to stress, promoting emotional wellbeing?
- What if this same Whole Food Functional Beverage proved it’s merit in an in clinico placebo-controlled study?
- And FINALLY, what if all these things could fit in one tasty 3 oz serving you drink once a day?
Keeping you on the edge of the cutting edge,