The consumption of flavonoid-rich food is associated with decreased risk of developing depression. The possible explanation for this association is the beneficial effect of flavonoids on executive function (EF). EF describes cognitive processes, such as working memory, planning, problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, directing attention, thoughts and, therefore, behavior.
Suboptimal dietary habits influence many risks for cardiometabolic health. Cardiometabolic syndrome is considered as metabolic disorder, which is associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and diabetes, and mortality.
Berries and berry products are essential source of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, ellagitannins and proanthocyanidins, in the Nordic diet. Berries contain only limited amount of available carbohydrates (mainly glucose and fructose), and they have a very low glycemic effect. However, berries are often consumed with added sugar. Sugar masks the acidic taste of many berries and increase their consumption, but on the other hand, may decrease the health benefits of the berries.
Flavonoids are a diverse range of polyphenolic compounds that are present in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, chocolate and wine. In this study, dietary flavonoids were divided into six subclasses, and their effects on the body composition of women were investigated.
Recently, the attention of researchers has been focused on lesser-known and underutilized species of edible berries, such as crowberry, lingonberry and rowanberry. Wild berry species often display higher antioxidant activity and have higher concentrations of phenolic compounds in comparison with cultivated berries. Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) has one of the highest content of antioxidants.
Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are recognized as a good source of anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids, alpha-linolenic acid, pterostilbene, and vitamins. Recent studies have shown the benefit of consuming bilberries to prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and anti-inflammation.
Forest owners and stakeholders need increased amounts of information about forests to support decision making. Besides timber, many forest owners also value forest products and services such as berries, mushrooms, biodiversity, recreation and carbon sequestration. Nowadays forest planning can consider simultaneously several forest products and services. This kind of forest planning requires numerical models to predict the development of different ecosystem services, such as berry yields.
Colorectal cancers are leading causes of cancer-related deaths in Western societies. New methods to prevent and treat colorectal cancer are therefore required. Berries contain anti-carcinogenic compounds and provide protection against colon tumorigenesis in experimental animal models. However, the mechanistic basis for their effects is not well understood.
Earlier studies have shown that dietary fruit and berry intake may reduce cardiovascular disease risk. However, more studies are needed to find out that which fruits and berries are most beneficial, and which key constituents are responsible for the health benefits. Recent studies have suggested beneficial effects of higher intakes of specific fruits, including blueberries and grapes, for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, flavonoids seem to be improving endothelian function, blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. Therefore, flavonoids might be key constituents of fruits and berries that decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Most of the studies that have examined the associations between flavonoids and cardiovascular disease have focused on women. Thus, this study was concentrating on men.
Depression is globally a major cause of disability. Although many patients respond favourably to treatment, residual symptoms and dysfunction from depression are common, especially among older adults. Therefore, scientists are looking for effective depression prevention strategies.
Inflammation and oxidative stress play a central role in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. However, little is known of how various dietary components interact to influence this inflammatory and anti-oxidant process and the development of diabetes. Most of the studies have focused on assessing individual nutrients or foods in relation to diabetes risk, while it would be important to study the relationship between dietary patterns and diabetes. This study investigated the association between an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant dietary pattern and diabetes.
Quercetin is a flavonol that is classified as an antioxidant and has natural antihistamine properties. Many wild berries, such as bog whortleberry, cranberry and sea buckthorn berry, contain high amounts of quercetin.
Source: Blumberg, J., Basu, A., Krueger, C., Lila, M., Neto, C., Novotny, J., Reed, J., Rodriguez-Mateos, A. & Toner, C. (2016): Impact of cranberries on gut microbiota and cardiometabolic health: proceedings of the cranberry health research conference 2015. Advances in Nutrition 2016;7(Suppl): 759S–70S; doi: 10.3945/an.116.012583.
Cranberry is so much more than just a tart and tangy fruit! New review article summarises the advances in the cranberry field during the last five years with regard to the gut microbiota and cardiometabolic health.
Source: Gupta, P., Song, B., Neto, C. & Camesano, T. (2016): Atomic force microscopy-guided fractionation reveals the influence of cranberry phytochemicals on adhesion of Escherichia coli. The Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Food & Function 7: 2655–2666.
American scientists have revealed new impacts of cranberry juice on bacterial infections. The results open up new, interesting possibilities for antibiotic drug development.
Retina is the light-sensitive, inner layer of the eye. The retina is particularly susceptible to surrounding light injury and is thus a primary target of photooxidative damage in the eye. Several studies have suggested that photooxidative damage contributes to the onset and the progression of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairment in elderly patients.
The new research, carried out in 2015, explored the attitudes of consumers towards healthy eating. More than 2 500 adults were interviewed in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK).
Cancer still represents the second leading cause of death, after heart diseases. It is estimated that in the next 15 years the number of new cancer cases will increase by 70%. Therefore, new innovative preventive and therapeutic strategies to contrast cancer-associated mortality are needed.
Lähde: Vetrani, C., Rivellese, A.A., Annuzzi, G., Adiels, M., Borén, J., Mattila, I., Orešič, M. & Aura, A. (2016): Metabolic transformations of dietary polyphenols: comparison between in vitro colonic and hepatic models and in vivo urinary metabolites. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.03.007.
Source: Rodríguez, A. & Kouki, J. (2015): Emulating natural disturbance in forest management enhances pollination services for dominant Vaccinium shrubs in boreal pine-dominated forests. Forest Ecology and Management 350: 1-12.
Six new studies on raspberry's health benefits were presented at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego in April 2016. The target berry species was American raspberry (Rubus strigosus), a close relative of European raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Results were published as conference abstracts in "Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology".
Source: Cassidy, A., Franz, M. & Rimm, E.B. (2016): Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi 10.3945/ajcn.115.122010.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual dysfunction of middle-aged men with a prevalence of 33–52%. The most frequent physical causes of ED are vascular diseases, and therefore ED has similar risk factors (hypertension, obesity, and smoking) than cardiovascular disease. Earlier studies have found out that a healthy diet, increased physical activity, and statin therapy (cholesterol lowering medication) can decrease the incidence of ED.
According to earlier studies, also Mediterranean diet has a positive influence on men’s sexual health. The Mediterranean diet consists of grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil, and therefore this diet contains also high concentrations of flavonoids that may help explain the observed beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to examine the relation of the main subclasses of flavonoids with incidence of ED.
Source: Bertoia, M.L., Rimm, E.B., Mukamal, K.J., Hu, F.B., Willet, W.C. & Cassidy, A. (2016): Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years. BMJ 2016, 352:i17.
Previous studies have revealed associations between intake of certain fruits and vegetables and weight maintenance. An increased intake of blueberries, apples, pears, prunes, strawberries, and grapes has contributed to weight control. According to animal models and short term human studies, flavonoids decrease energy intake, increase glucose uptake in muscle, and decrease glucose uptake in adipose tissue. Flavonoids are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, flavonoids may decrease fat absorption, increase energy expenditure, and inhibit adipogenesis (the process during which fibroblast develop into mature adipocytes).
The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between consumption of certain flavonoids and weight gain. The results would provide guidance on which fruits and vegetables should be chosen in order to prevent weight gain. Even small increases in weight can have a significant effect on the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore strategies to help people to maintain a healthy weight are critically needed.