A natural compound found in strawberries can reduce the mental effects of ageing.
The antioxidant fisetin, when given to mice, was found to reduce their mental decline with age and inflammation in their body.
Fisetin is also found in many other plants, such as apples, onions, cucumbers and persimmons.
Dr Pamela Maher, who led the research said:
“Companies have put fisetin into various health products but there hasn’t been enough serious testing of the compound.
Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just Alzheimer’s, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it.”
Previous studies in the same lab have found that fisetin can reduce age-related memory loss.
The study was carried out on mice that had been genetically modified to be susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Maher said:
“Mice are not people, of course.
But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally.”
The mice were given food with fisetin in it for 7 months and compared to a control group.
Dr Maher said:
“At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking.”
Those given the fisetin had hardly suffered any age-related deficits.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A (Currais et al., 2017).