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Tart Cherries May Reduce Stroke Risk

Posted May 24 2013 10:08pm
Posted on May 23, 2013, 6 a.m. in Stroke Functional Foods
Tart Cherries May Reduce Stroke Risk

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to activate PPAR isoforms (peroxisome proliferator activating receptors) in many of the body’s tissues.  Studies suggest that anthocyanins – the pigments that give the fruit its red color – may be responsible for PPAR activation.   E. Mitchell Seymour, from  the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues compared the effect of tart cherries and a  prescription drug that helps to regulate fat and glucose but for which long-term use can increase stroke risk.  Employing a model of stroke-prone rats which were put through various physical tests, such as walking on a tapered beam and climbing a ladder, the researchers found that compared to the drug, tart cherry intake significantly improved balance and coordination, and at the same time lowered blood pressure.  The study authors submit that: “intake of a physiologically-relevant amount of anthocyanins from tart cherry significantly reduced stroke-related phenotypes, was safer than [prescription drug], and may be a good preclinical model to explore the stroke-protective effects of an anthocyanin-rich diet.”

E. M. Seymour, J. Wolforth, K. Bosak, M. Kondoleon, V. Mehta, P. Brickner, S. F. Bolling.  “Effect of tart cherry versus PPAR agonist pioglitazone on stroke-related phenotypes and inflammation” [Abstract 359.7].  Presentation at Experimental Biology 2013, 23 April 2013.

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Tip #167 - Snooze, Don’t Lose
Too little sleep compromises many of the body’s biological processes, most notably the immune system, metabolic function, and cognitive performance (specifically, learning and memory). Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Massachusetts, USA) reported that sleep is important for the development of episodic memories, and particularly those of an emotional nature. The team studied 88 college students, and found that those subjects who slept a full evening remembered the emotional scene they were shown in far greater detail, as compared to those participants who stayed awake for 12 hours after viewing the scene.

Defying the adage that ‘you snooze, you lose,’ sleep is a vital process that helps to preserve memories. Don’t underestimate the restorative role of sleep: while the amount of sleep required is highly individualized, it is critical to get sleep of a sufficient duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert for the day.

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