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PQQ, Fiber, Astaxanthin, and Blueberry

April 2016

By Life Extension

PQQ, Fiber, Astaxanthin, and Blueberry


Vascular reactivity is affected by dietary consumption of wild blueberries in the Sprague-Dawley rat.

We have previously reported that consumption of blueberry-enriched (BB) diets attenuates the arterial contractile response to alpha(1)-adrenergic stimuli and affects vasomotor tone via endothelium-related pathways. The present study was designed to evaluate vascular function and responsiveness in aortas of weanling male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a control (C) or a BB diet for 7 weeks. Vascular ring studies were conducted in 3-mm isolated rat aortic ring preparations to investigate vasoconstriction induced by L-phenylephrine (Phe) (10(-8)-3 x 10(-6) M) and vasorelaxation induced by acetylcholine (ACh) (10(-8)-3 x 10(-6) M). Agonists were used alone and in the presence of nitric oxide (NO) synthase and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors. We observed a significantly diminished vasoconstrictor response to Phe in aortic rings from rats fed the BB diet. Inhibition of NO synthase but not COX caused a significant increase in the constrictor response in both dietary groups, with the BB group having the greater response. Similarly, the participation of the NO pathway in endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation induced by ACh was greater in the rats fed a BB diet, while COX inhibition showed no effect on maximum ACh-induced vasorelaxation in any diet group. The vessel sensitivity of BB aortic rings to the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator was significantly reduced when compared to controls. We have concluded that diets enriched with blueberries, fed for 7 weeks in Sprague-Dawley rats, seem to affect NO metabolic pathways in the aorta at basal and stimulated levels.

J Med Food. 2009 Feb;12(1):21-8

Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health.

Berries are a good source of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, micronutrients, and fiber. In epidemiological and clinical studies, these constituents have been associated with improved cardiovascular risk profiles. Human intervention studies using chokeberries, cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries (either fresh, or as juice, or freeze-dried), or purified anthocyanin extracts have demonstrated significant improvements in LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism. Benefits were seen in healthy subjects and in those with existing metabolic risk factors. Underlying mechanisms for these beneficial effects are believed to include upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, decreased activities of carbohydrate digestive enzymes, decreased oxidative stress, and inhibition of inflammatory gene expression and foam cell formation. Though limited, these data support the recommendation of berries as an essential fruit group in a heart-healthy diet.

Nutr Rev. 2010 Mar;68(3):168-77

Protective roles of Gadd45 and MDM2 in blueberry anthocyanins mediated DNA repair of fragmented and non-fragmented DNA damage in UV-irradiated HepG2 cells.

Growth Arrest and DNA Damage-inducible 45 (Gadd45) and MDM2 proteins, together with p21 and p53, play important roles in cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair, and genome integrity maintenance. Gadd45 and MDM2 were activated and transcribed instantly by UV irradiation, whereas blueberry anthocyanins (BA) decreased the gene and protein expression levels in HepG2 cells for up to 24 h, and gradually restored the UV-induced fragmented and non-fragmented DNA damage of the nucleus at a time point of 12 h. Nevertheless, UV-irradiated HepG2 cell arrests occurred mainly in the G1 phase, which indicated G1 as a checkpoint. The proteins, p21 and p53, retain cellular integrity, suppressing the oncogenic transformation by interruption of the G1 phase of the cellular cycle, giving time for repairing the damage to DNA, or apoptosis induction if the damage is too severe to be repaired, while MDM2 and Gadd45 concomitantly ensure the presence of p53 and p21. Thus, we conclude that repair, together with Gadd45 and MDM2 genes, were involved in light and dark reaction mechanisms, however, BA could interfere and assist the repair through restoration, although further studies of the complex of the gene cascades triggered and responded to in BA-assisted DNA repair are needed.

Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Oct 30;14(11):21447-62

Mobility limitation in the older patient: a clinical review.

IMPORTANCE: Mobility limitations are common in older adults, affecting the physical, psychological, and social aspects of an older adult’s life. OBJECTIVE: To identify mobility risk factors, screening tools, medical management, need for physical therapy, and efficacy of exercise interventions for older primary care patients with limited mobility. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Search of PubMed and PEDro from January 1985 to March 31, 2013, using the search terms mobility limitation, walking difficulty, and ambulatory difficulty to identify English-language, peer-reviewed systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and Cochrane reviews assessing mobility limitation and interventions in community-dwelling older adults. Articles not appearing in the search referenced by reviewed articles were also evaluated. FINDINGS: The most common risk factors for mobility impairment are older age, low physical activity, obesity, strength or balance impairment, and chronic diseases such as diabetes or arthritis. Several tools are available to assess mobility in the ambulatory setting. Referral to physical therapy is appropriate, because physical therapists can assess mobility limitations and devise curative or function-enhancing interventions. Relatively few studies support therapeutic exercise to improve mobility limitation. Strong evidence supports resistance and balance exercises for improving mobility-limiting physical weakness and balance disorders. Assessing a patient’s physical environment and the patient’s ability to adapt to it using mobility devices is critical. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Identification of older adults at risk for mobility limitation can be accomplished through routine screening in the ambulatory setting. Addressing functional deficits and environmental barriers with exercise and mobility devices can lead to improved function, safety, and quality of life for patients with mobility limitations.

JAMA. 2013 Sep 18;310(11):1168-77

Effects of blueberry supplementation on measures of functional mobility in older adults.

Limited functional mobility in older adults has been associated with declines in tests of motor, psychomotor, and executive function. Animal studies have demonstrated reversals in indices of motor and psychomotor function via supplementation with polyphenolic-rich foods such as blueberries. The purpose of this study was to examine whether 6 weeks of daily consumption of 2 cups of frozen blueberries affects functional mobility in older adults. Pre- and post-intervention assessments of grip strength, simple reaction time, adaptive gait, and executive function were completed for older adults (age >60 years) partially randomly assigned to a blueberry (BB) supplementation or a carrot juice drink control (CAR) group. Paired t tests were used to assess within-group effects for outcome variables in each supplementation group, and a mixed-model analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to determine group (CAR vs. BB) differences. Mixed-model analysis indicated that the BB group demonstrated significant improvements relative to the CAR group in performance (i.e., number of step errors) of a challenging dual-task adaptive gait test that were independent of differences in gait speed. Within only the BB group, significant improvements were also seen in 3 other measures (i.e., usual gait speed; number of step errors during single-task adaptive gait; and gait speed during dual-task adaptive gait). These preliminary findings support the hypothesis that blueberry supplementation may provide an effective countermeasure to age-related declines in functional mobility and serve as justification for an expansion to larger trials to more fully assess this nonpharmacologic approach to maintaining optimal mobility and independence.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Jun;40(6):543-9.

Visible light-induced lipid peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in the retina and the inhibitory effects of blueberry polyphenols.

The lipid peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) in the retina not only threatens visual cells but also affects the physiological health of the retina. In this work, the potential damages caused by daily visible light exposure on retinal UFAs were evaluated via a simulated in vitro model. At the same time, the benefits of dietary supplementation of blueberries to the eyes were also assessed. After prolonged light exposure, lipid peroxidation occurred for both docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids (DHA and AA, respectively). The oxidized UFAs presented obvious cytotoxicity and significantly inhibited cell growth in retinal pigment epithelium cells. Among the different blueberry polyphenol fractions, the flavonoid-rich fraction, in which quercetin was discovered as the main component, was considerably better in preventing visible light-induced DHA lipid peroxidation than the anthocyanin- and phenolic acid-rich fractions. Then the retinal protective activity of blueberry polyphenols against light-induced retinal injury was confirmed in vivo. On the basis of the above results, inhibiting lipid peroxidation of UFAs in the retina is proposed to be another important function mechanism for antioxidants to nourish eyes.

J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Oct 28;63(42):9295-305

Blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum) leaf extracts protect against Ab-induced cytotoxicity and cognitive impairment.

The ethylacetate (EtOAc) fraction of blueberry leaf extract was investigated to examine the in vivo antiamnesic effects against amyloid b protein (Ab)-induced learning and memory deficit. The fraction showed the highest antioxidant activities, and the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species was significantly decreased. Cell viability assays revealed the in vitro cytoprotective effects of the fraction, and the cytoplasmic lactate dehydrogenase release into the medium was dose-dependently inhibited. In addition, a chlorogenic acid was identified as a predominant phenolic compound by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Antiamnesic effects were evaluated by using in vivo the Y-maze and passive avoidance tests, and preadministration of the fraction attenuated Ab-induced memory impairment in both in vivo experiments. Acetylcholinesterase prepared from mice brain was inhibited by the fraction, and malondialdehyde generation in the brain homogenate was also decreased. These findings suggest that the EtOAc fraction of blueberry leaf extract could possess a wide range of physiological effects against neurodegenerative diseases.

J Med Food. 2013 Nov;16(11):968-76

Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons.

The exact mechanisms contributing to poor neuronal survival in cell transplantation paradigms for Parkinson’s disease (PD) are unknown. However, transplantation-induced host immune response, inflammation, and subsequent oxidative stress are likely contributors to cell death since dopamine (DA) neurons are exquisitely sensitive to oxidative damage. Multiple studies have attempted to improve cell survival by treating transplant material with antioxidant and antiinflammatory compounds, whereas far fewer studies have attempted to modify the host environment to reduce these threats. Flavonoids, phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. For example, supplementation with dietary blueberry extract (BBE) prevents oxidative stress-associated impairment of striatal motor function during aging and restores lost motor function in aged rats. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation of rodent diets with BBE would improve the survival of embryonic DA neurons transplanted into the unilaterally DA-depleted striatum. Inclusion of 2% BBE in a custom chow diet significantly increased the survival of implanted DA neurons and ameliorated rotational behavior asymmetries as compared to transplanted animals consuming a standard diet. These findings provide support for the potential of dietary phytochemicals as an easily administered and well-tolerated therapy that can be used to improve the effectiveness of DA neuron replacement.

Nutr Neurosci. 2006 Oct-Dec;9(5-6):251-8