Title: “Polyphenolic-food” Effects on Brain Health (Human Data review)
Preventive strategies and nutritional interventions seem to be promising approaches to delay neurocognitive decline and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Among the various nutritional protocols, numerous studies confirm: the Mediterranean diet is the best food style to preserve the decay of our brain and live long. The elderly who constantly follow this type of diet would have a brain less "consumed" than those who follow a different food style. But what are the magic molecules present in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, able to protect us from aging and degenerative phenomena? The polyphenols: phytochemicals that fight cellular aging by counteracting the action of free radicals. These substances are able to stimulate cell repair systems, to amplify the endogenous antioxidant defenses, to specifically inhibit the action of inflammatory molecules. The trigger of this defensive response is linked to the peculiar ability of the polyphenols to modulate specific signaling mechanisms and transcription factors.
Here we review the role of some "polyphenolic-food" of Mediterranean diet for the maintenance of cognitive performance, focusing specifically on human studies and the beneficial effects associated with overall diet composition, rather than single nutrient supplementations, for the prevention or the delay of neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: antioxidants, brain, Mediterranean diet, neurodegeneration, nutrition, polyphenols