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Free Content Brain Ageing, Cognition and Diet: A Review of the Emerging Roles of Food-Based Nootropics in Mitigating Age-related Memory Decline

Background: Age-related cognitive decline has been suggested to result from an increase in the brain neuron loss, which is attributable to continued derangement of the brain’s oxidant/ antioxidant balance. Increased oxidative stress and a concomitant decrease in the brain’s antioxidant defense system have been associated with functional senescence and organismal ageing. However, nature has configured certain foods to be rich sources of nootropic agents, with research showing that increased consumption of such foods or food ingredients may be protective against ageing-related memory decline. This knowledge is becoming increasingly valuable in an era when the boundary that separates food from medicine is becoming blurred. In this review, we examine extant literature dealing with the impact of ageing on brain structure and function, with an emphasis on the roles of oxidative stress. Secondly, we review the benefits of food-based antioxidants with nootropic effects and/or food-based nootropic agents in mitigating memory decline; with a view to improving our understanding of likely mechanisms. We also highlight some of the limitations to the use of food-based nootropics and suggest ways in which they can be better employed in the clinical management of age-related cognitive decline.

Conclusion: While it is known that the human brain endures diverse insults in the process of ageing, food-based nootropics are likely to go a long way in mitigating the impacts of these insults. Further research is needed before we reach a point where food-based nootropics are routinely prescribed.

Keywords: Ageing; antioxidants; dementia; nootropic; nutraceuticals; nutrition

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Current Aging Science publishes frontier review and experimental articles in all areas of aging and age-related research that may influence longevity. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the biology and mechanism of aging, genetics, pathogenesis, intervention of normal aging process and preventive strategies of age-related disorders. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, clinical, molecular, and animal models, including lower organism models (e.g., yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila). In addition to the affect of aging on integrated systems, the journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of adults stem cells, brain imaging, calorie restriction, immunosenescence, molecular diagnostics, pharmacology and clinical aspects of aging. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to developmental programming of aging and the synergistic mechanism of aging with cardiovascular diseases, obesity and neurodegenerative disorders.

    Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor and drug clinical trial studies are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in aging, age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease and longevity. Current Aging Science provides a comprehensive coverage of the current state of aging research for gerontologists, neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting agencies and pharmaceutical scientists.

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