Nature provides the perfect remedy for everything that might go wrong with the human body. And that includes your aging brain.
The science backs me up on this…
And now, a new study shows that a compound found in strawberries protects your brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
I’m talking about fisetin.
You might not have ever heard of this powerful antioxidant. It is a type of plant pigment that gives color to many fruits and vegetables. But it has been shown to maintain levels of glutathione — your body’s most potent antioxidant that protects brain and nerve cells.
Scientists only identified fisetin in the past 10 years.
Since then the research has been stunning. A new study from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is just one example. It shows that fisetin may prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. And it could protect you against memory loss.1
In the study, researchers worked with mice. They genetically engineered the mice to age prematurely and develop Alzheimer’s. Half the mice were given fisetin with their food. The other half served as a control group. After seven months the difference was striking…
The control group showed more stress and brain inflammation than those given the fisetin. They also did much worse in cognitive tests.
But mice given fisetin had the brain function of a healthy young mouse. In other words, the fisetin halted memory loss in mice prone to Alzheimer’s.
Other research shows that fisetin is very good at creating new brain growth.2 It also increases the strength of the brain’s long-term memory pathways.3
Fisetin seems perfectly designed by nature for your brain. It’s one of the only compounds that can cross the “blood-brain barrier.” That’s the network of blood vessels that allows essential nutrients into the brain but blocks other harmful substances.
Once inside the brain, fisetin is powerful. It limits the buildup of proteins like beta-amyloid that create the plaques and brain tangles found in Alzheimer’s.4 It slows the progress of Huntington’s, another fatal brain disease. And it decreases inflammation in brain cells called microglia that are linked to neurodegenerative diseases.5
Other research shows fisetin protects the brain against damaging compounds in the blood. I’m talking about things like aluminum chloride and ammonia. It also boosts brain levels of serotonin to elevate mood and energy. And it increases noradrenaline, a hormone that helps increase attention, perception and memory.
But that’s not all…
Science now shows that fisetin may:
- Protect against brain damage after stroke
- Reduce brain damage from epileptic seizures and brain injury
- Relieve depression and anxiety
- Increase SIRTI, an enzyme that can turn off certain aging genes
- Help suppress tumor growth and prevent cancers of the colon, pancreas, prostate and skin
- Improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
- Treat diabetes
- Protect bones
My Favorite Fisetin Smoothie
Fisetin is found in various fruits and vegetables. It’s in apples, persimmons, grapes, mangoes, kiwi, peaches, tomatoes and onions. But far and away, the richest food source of fisetin is strawberries, followed closely by cucumbers.
I like to make a fisetin smoothie first thing in the morning. Here’s my recipe:
- 1 cup cold coconut water
- 1½ cups frozen strawberries
- 1 (unpeeled) cucumber cut into large chunks
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Add more coconut water if needed. Serves 2.
You have to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to get the amount of fisetin your brain needs for optimal protection. Even with strawberries, you’d have to eat almost four cups a day to get enough for the brain benefits.
That’s why I advise my patients to take a supplement. Look for one made from “wax tree,” an Asian species of sumac that is rich in fisetin. Make sure the label identifies it as 98% fisetin. Take 100 mg per day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Currais A., et al. “Fisetin Reduces the Impact of Aging on Behavior and Physiology in the Rapidly Aging SAMP8 Mouse.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.02 June 2017.
2. Sagara Y, Vanhnasy J, Maher P. “Induction of PC12 cell differentiation by flavonoids is dependent upon extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation.” J Neurochem.. 2004 Sep.
3. Maher P, Akaishi T, Abe K. “Flavonoid fisetin promotes ERK-dependent long-term potentiation and enhances memory.”Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 31.
4. Kim S, Choi KJ, Cho S-J, et al. “Fisetin stimulates autophagic degradation of phosphorylated tau via the activation of TFEB and Nrf2 transcription factors.” Sci Rep.2016.
5. Zheng LT, Ock J, Kwon BM, Suk K. “Suppressive effects of flavonoid fisetin on lipopolysaccharide-induced microglial activation and neurotoxicity.” Int Immunopharmacol. 2008 Mar.