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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Jun;84(2):229-34. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

Behavioral and genoprotective effects of Vaccinium berries intake in mice.

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Departamento de Ciências Fisiológicas, Fundação Universidade Federal de Rio Grande, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil.


Studies have shown that supplementation with berries rich in anthocyanins are effective in reducing oxidative stress associated with aging, and are beneficial in reversing age-related neuronal and behavioral changes. However, there are few reports on other biological activities of these polyphenols, such as genoprotective effects. The present experiments were performed to study the possible effects of 30-day administration of a lyophilized extract of Vaccinium ashei berries on cognitive performance using step-down inhibitory avoidance, open-field habituation and elevated plus-maze tasks, as well as on DNA damage in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. The present study showed that the extract significantly enhanced long-term memory in the inhibitory avoidance task, induced an increase in the number of crossings during open-field habituation and had an anxiolytic effect in the elevated plus-maze task. Moreover, the extract reduced oxidative DNA damage in brain tissue in vitro. These results suggest that supplementation with V. ashei berries to mice improves performance on memory tasks and has a protective effect on DNA damage, possibly due to the antioxidant activity of polyphenols, including anthocyanins.

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