Researchers at the Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) have isolated a flavonoid that helps to fight diabetes by reducing its harmful effects—fisetin, which is found most readily in strawberries. In mice with diabetes, fisetin has been shown to fight diabetes in both the kidneys and the brain.
Akita mice with type 1 diabetes share the maladies suffered by humans with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, such as dysfunctions of the kidneys and brain. While fisetin could not outright cure diabetes, it significantly reduced the detrimental symptoms—examples include reduction of kidneys inflamed by hypertrophy and lower urine protein levels.
In laboratory mice, fisetin also increased the longevity of neurons and improved memory, thus showing promise in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease as well as diabetes. Furthermore, fisetin even relieved symptoms of anxiety. When administered fisetin, mice who tend to be sedentary when anxious became active once again.
According to Pamela Maher at CNL, a human would need to consume 37 strawberries a day to obtain the amount of fisetin necessary to fight diabetic symptoms. She hopes that an alternative, a supplement, could be made available in the future to fill this need.
Discussion Question: Compare the advantages and disadvantages of ingesting fisetin through diet (e.g., eating 37 strawberries per day) versus taking fisetin as a supplement.
News Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627183932.htm
Journal Article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021226
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Strawberries.JPG
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