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Reports on phytochemicals findings from National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program provide new insights


Scientists discuss in "Neurohormetic phytochemicals: Low-dose toxins that induce adaptive neuronal stress responses" new findings in phytochemicals. According to recent research from the United States, "Diets rich in vegetables and fruits are associated with reduced risk of several major diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. Although some beneficial phytochemicals might function solely as antioxidants, it is becoming clear that many of the beneficial chemicals in vegetables and fruits evolved as toxins (to dissuade insects and other predators) that, at subtoxic doses, activate adaptive cellular stress-response pathways in a variety of cells including neurons."

"Examples of such 'preconditioning' or 'neurohormesis' pathways include those involving cell-survival signaling kinases, the transcription factors NRF2 and CREB, and histone deacetylases of the sirtuin family. In these ways, neurohormetic phytochemicals such as resveratrol, sulforaphanes and curcumin might protect neurons against injury and disease by stimulating the production of antioxidant enzymes, neurotrophic factors, protein chaperones and other proteins that help cells to withstand stress," wrote M.P. Mattson and colleagues, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program.

The researchers concluded: "Thus, as we discuss in this review, highly conserved longevity and survival pathways in neurons are the targets of many phytochemicals."

Mattson and colleagues published their study in Trends In Neurosciences (Neurohormetic phytochemicals: Low-dose toxins that induce adaptive neuronal stress responses. Trends In Neurosciences, 2006;29(11):632-9).

For additional information, contact M.P. Mattson, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Laboratory of Neurosciences, Baltimore, MD 21224 U.S.

Publisher contact information for the journal Trends In Neurosciences is: Elsevier Science London, 84 Theobalds Rd., London WC1X 8RR, England.

Keywords: United States, Baltimore, Aging, Alternative Medicine, Biotechnology, Phytochemicals, Therapy, Treatment.

This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2006, Biotech Week via

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