Emerging evidence suggests that a group of dietary-derived phytochemicals known as polyphenols are able to delay age-related disorders and to improve cognitive functions. In particular, polyphenols have been reported to exert their neuroprotective actions through the potential to protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, an ability to suppress neuroinflammation, and the potential to promote memory, learning and cognitive function. Despite significant advances in our understanding of the biology of polyphenols, they are still mistakenly regarded as simply acting as antioxidants. However, recent evidence suggests that their beneficial effects are more likely to result from their capacity to modulate expression of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes, neurotrophic factors and cytoprotective proteins. Together, these processes act to maintain brain homeostasis and have the potential to prevent the progression of neurodegenerative pathologies.
- Cell signalling