Dietary supplementation with the polyphenol-rich açaí pulps (Euterpe oleracea Mart. and Euterpe precatoria Mart.) improves cognition in aged rats and attenuates inflammatory signaling in BV-2 microglial cells.
Nutr Neurosci. 2015 Nov 30. Epub 2015 Nov 30. PMID: 26618555
Amanda N Carey
Objectives The present study was carried out to determine if lyophilized açaí fruit pulp (genus, Euterpe), rich in polyphenols and other bioactive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, is efficacious in reversing age-related cognitive deficits in aged rats. Methods The diets of 19-month-old Fischer 344 rats were supplemented for 8 weeks with 2% Euterpe oleracea (EO), Euterpe precatoria (EP), or a control diet. Rats were tested in the Morris water maze and then blood serum from the rats was used to assess inflammatory responses of BV-2 microglial cells. Results After 8 weeks of dietary supplementation with 2% EO or EP, rats demonstrated improved workingmemory in the Morris water maze, relative to controls; however, only the EO diet improved reference memory. BV-2 microglial cells treated with blood serum collected from EO-fed rats produced less nitric oxide (NO) than control-fed rats. Serum from both EO- and EP-fed rats reduced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). There is a relationship between performance in the water maze and the production of NO and TNF-α by serum-treated BV-2 cells, such that serum from rats with better performance was more protective against inflammatory signaling. Discussion Protection of memory during aging by supplementation of lyophilized açaí fruit pulp added to the diet may result from its ability to influence antioxidant and anti-inflammatory signaling.