Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Compound And Exercise Boost Memory In Mice

Date:
May 30, 2007
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
A natural compound found in blueberries, tea, grapes and cocoa enhances memory in mice, according to newly published research. This effect increased further when mice also exercised regularly.

A natural compound found in blueberries, tea, grapes, and cocoa enhances memory in mice, according to newly published research. This effect increased further when mice also exercised regularly.

"This finding is an important advance because it identifies a single natural chemical with memory-enhancing effects, suggesting that it may be possible to optimize brain function by combining exercise and dietary supplementation," says Mark Mattson, PhD, at the National Institute on Aging.

The compound, epicatechin, is one of a group of chemicals known as flavonols and has been shown previously to improve cardiovascular function in people and increase blood flow in the brain. Flavonols are found in some chocolate. Henriette van Praag, PhD, of the Salk Institute, and colleagues there and at Mars, Inc., showed that the combination of exercise and a diet with epicatechin also promoted structural and functional changes in the dentate gyrus, a part of the brain involved in the formation of learning and memory. The findings, published in the May 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that a diet rich in flavonols may help reduce the incidence or severity of neurodegenerative disease or cognitive disorders related to aging.

Van Praag and her team compared mice fed a typical diet with those fed a diet supplemented with epicatechin. Half the mice in each group were allowed to run on a wheel for two hours each day. After a month, the mice were trained to find a platform hidden in a pool of water. Those that both exercised and ate the epicatechin diet remembered the location of the platform longer than the other mice.

When studying their brains, van Praag and her colleagues found that these mice had greater blood vessel growth in the dentate gyrus and had developed more mature nerve cells, suggesting an enhanced ability of the cells to communicate. Further analysis showed that the epicatechin and exercise combination had a beneficial effect on the expression of genes important for learning and memory, and decreased the activity of genes playing a role in inflammation and neurodegeneration.

The researchers found that sedentary mice fed epicatechin showed enhanced memory, blood vessel growth, and gene activity, but these benefits were even more evident in mice that also exercised.

"A logical next step will be to study the effects of epicatechin on memory and brain blood flow in aged animals," says van Praag, "and then humans, combined with mild exercise."

The work was a supported by a grant from the US Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Mars, which markets a flavonol-rich line of chocolate, supplied the epicatechin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Natural Compound And Exercise Boost Memory In Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529174815.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2007, May 30). Natural Compound And Exercise Boost Memory In Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529174815.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Natural Compound And Exercise Boost Memory In Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529174815.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins