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Aging is inevitable, but can you prevent early cognitive decline by eating berries?
Based on a study published in the journal Nature, inflammation causes aging across most mammals. The inflammation contributes to the development of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and even cognitive decline.
How Microglia and Macrophages Affect Cell Processes
In the said study, microglia are revealed to be highly vulnerable to changes. Microglia is a type of white blood cell present in the brain. Once exposed to an inflammatory molecule prostaglandin, microglia can affect the cell processes.
Researchers found out that the effect of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is only on one specific part of microglia. Normal cellular energy production can reduce the inflammation in the brain.
PGE2 in mammals increases because of different tissues entering the cell. Once this happens, the tissue may not function properly.
PGE2 is essential for multiple body functions such as:
- Controlling blood pressure
- Controlling inflammation
- Contracting and relaxing smooth muscles
- Dilating and constricting blood vessels
What is interesting in the study is that the researchers also found macrophages from people age 65 are higher than younger people.
A macrophage is a type of white blood cell that is also related to microglia. It can suppress the mitochondria’s functions, thus affecting cell behavior in the body.
Can You Link Diet to Cognition?
Researchers observed the effect of the interaction of just one type of EP2, the subtype of PGE2. The researchers used the white blood cells grown in the lab.
A drug was used to turn the receptor on and off. Inactive cells were observed in a receptor turned on. Meanwhile, when the cells were treated with drugs, the cells were able to recover.
To investigate further, researchers experiment on mice. They used genetically modified mice wherein EP2 was removed to allow them to grow.
The mice’s learning and memory ability to get through mazes were studied. The results revealed that the old mice were able to learn and remember like their younger versions. The researchers hope that this study will give light on the studies related to diet and cognition.
In addition to this, research shows that these foods can hinder PGE2 from attacking the cells.
For many years, eating blueberries, strawberries, and spinach can improve cognition among older because they are rich in resveratrol, fisetin, and quercetin. These nutrients are known to recover aged cells.
Besides fruits, adding vegetables to your diet can prevent early signs of aging and boost your health.