Dietary levels of pure flavonoids improve spatial memory performance and increase hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Catarina Rendeiro, David Vauzour, Marcus Rattray, Pierre Waffo-Téguo, Jean Michel Mérillon, Laurie T. Butler, Claire M. Williams, Jeremy P. E. Spencer

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132 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that flavonoid-rich foods are capable of inducing improvements in memory and cognition in animals and humans. However, there is a lack of clarity concerning whether flavonoids are the causal agents in inducing such behavioral responses. Here we show that supplementation with pure anthocyanins or pure flavanols for 6 weeks, at levels similar to that found in blueberry (2% w/w), results in an enhancement of spatial memory in 18 month old rats. Pure flavanols and pure anthocyanins were observed to induce significant improvements in spatial working memory (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006 respectively), to a similar extent to that following blueberry supplementation (p = 0.002). These behavioral changes were paralleled by increases in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (R = 0.46, p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere63535
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013


  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins
  • Blueberry Plant
  • Body Weight
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Diet
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Flavonoids
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hippocampus
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

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