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Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms

Spencer, J. P. E. (2009) Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms. Genes and Nutrition, 4 (4). pp. 243-250. ISSN 1555-8932

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s12263-009-0136-3

Abstract/Summary

The neuroprotective actions of dietary flavonoids involve a number of effects within the brain, including a potential to protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, an ability to suppress neuroinflammation, and the potential to promote memory, learning and cognitive function. This multiplicity of effects appears to be underpinned by two processes. Firstly, they interact with important neuronal signalling cascades leading to an inhibition of apoptosis triggered by neurotoxic species and to a promotion of neuronal survival and differentiation. These interactions include selective actions on a number of protein kinase and lipid kinase signalling cascades, most notably the PI3K/Akt and MAP kinase pathways which regulate pro-survival transcription factors and gene expression. Secondly, they induce peripheral and cerebral vascular blood flow in a manner which may lead to the induction of angiogenesis, and new nerve cell growth in the hippocampus. Therefore, the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries and cocoa, throughout life holds a potential to limit the neurodegeneration associated with a variety of neurological disorders and to prevent or reverse normal or abnormal deteriorations in cognitive performance.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:12974
Uncontrolled Keywords:Flavonoid, Brain, Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation, Memory, Cognitive performance, Signalling, GREEN TEA CATECHINS, NITRIC-OXIDE SYNTHASE, FACTOR-KAPPA-B, INDUCED, MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION, NEURONAL SIGNAL-TRANSDUCTION, FLAVANOL-RICH, COCOA, INDUCED CELL-DEATH, BEHAVIORAL DEFICITS, PARKINSONS-DISEASE, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
Publisher:Springer

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