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Flavonoid’s Brain Benefits

Dear Friends

There is a growing body of evidence that dietary phytochemicals, in particular flavonoids, may exert beneficial effects on the central nervous system, by protecting neurons against stress-induced injury, suppressing nueroinflammation and by improving cognitive function (Spencer 2008).

Flavonoids are divided into six subgroups (1) Flavonols (e.g. kaempferol, quercetin), which are found in onions, leeks and broccoli, (2) flavones (e.g. apigenin, luteolin), which are found in parsley and celery, (3) isoflavones (e.g. diadzein, genistein), which are found in soy products, (4) Flavanones (e.g. hesperetin, naringenin), which are mainly found in citrus fruit and tomatoes, (5) flavanols (e.g. catechin, epicatechin, EGCG), which are abundant in green tea and rose hips, and (6) anthocyanidins (e.g. perlargonisin, cyanidin, malvidin) whose sources include berry frutis like blueberries, bilberries and blackberries (Manach 2004).

In the recent research by Shukitt-Hale et al., entitled Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain, which appeared in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 2012, 60(23) pp 5709-5715, the researchers found that the intake of berries and berry extracts had a direct effect on the brain.  The extracts help prevent age-related neurodegeneration and resulting changes in cognitive and motor function.  The berry fruits mediate signaling pathways involved in inflammation and cell survival in addition to enhancing neuroplasticity, neurotransmission and calcium buffering, all of which lead to attenuation of age- and pathology related deficitis in behavior.  Their paper reviewed recent evidence for the beneficial signaling effects of berry fruits on the brain and behaviour.


Spencer et al. Flavonoids:  modulators of brain function? British Journal of Nutrition 2008; 99:pp. ES60-ES-70.

Manach et al. Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79: pp. 727-747.

Shukitt-Hale et al. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2012; 60(23): pp. 5709-5715.


Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell


Clinical Notes:

High ORAC Synbiotic Formula contains:  25 billion cfu/cap of certified strains of pedigreed probiotic with Therapeutic Foods in a synbiotic formula of L. acidophilus, B. longum, and 250 mg of wild blueberry extract, grape and grape seed extract, raspberry and raspberry seed extract, wild bilberry extract, cranberry, tart cherry and prune plus 250 of inulin drived from organic chicory root fiber.  Take one capsule daily for good bugs and good flavonoids, and in particular powerful anthocyanins.

The Last Quiz Answer:

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By Seann Bardell

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