Saturday, 20 April 2019

Herbal Bilberry Protects the Brain Neurons Against Toxicity

By Kyle J. Norton

Neuro-toxicity is a condition of brain damage caused by exposure to toxic substances.

The toxic condition was found to reduce the brain function in transmitting and processing signals to other parts of the nervous system. 

Symptoms of neurotoxicity are totally depending on the degree of toxicity. Some symptoms may take some time to develop. However, in most cases, symptoms may appear immediately after exposure.

Depending on the area and location of neurons damage, weakness or numbness, loss of memory, vision, headache change of cognitive and behavioral and sexual dysfunction are the most common symptoms found in people with neurotoxicity.

According to the statistics provided by the University of Ibadan, in the United States, for instance, out of 63 million youths under 18 years of age, about 10% have diagnosable neurobehavioural problems with only 20% receiving therapy and the magnitude affected by neurotoxicity is unknown.

The University continued, "The adverse effects of neurotoxicity are among the most feared ill health in humans because they adversely affect the quality of life", and "Undoubtedly, the magnitude and potential severity of neurotoxicity problems make it imperative to invest in resources required to strengthen the basis for preventive intervention, the forerunner of which is the development of biomarkers for neurotoxicity at the individual and population levels".

In other words, out of millions of people who have neurobehavioural problems, researchers do not know how many of them are actually caused by toxicity.

Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe.

The plant has been used as herbs in traditional medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease, and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.

In the analysis of natural compound with neuroprotective effect in patients with diabetes, researchers examined the antioxidants richly present in bilberry fruits effects on diabetes-related brain dysfunctions.

The study included the differentiation of the expression patterns of αCaMKII in hippocampal neurons from non-diabetic, diabetic and diabetic rats fed with an extract of bilberry fruit. 

Where Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (αCaMKII) plays a significant role in cognitive processes.

Diabetic rats hippocampal neurons immunoreactive (ir) to αCaMKII were swollen and the lengths of the neuronal fibers were reduced compared to the significantly longer of αCaMKII-positive nerve fibers in diabetic rats fed with bilberry fruit.

Injection of bilberry fruit also induced significant changes in the average larger diameter of αCaMKII-ir hippocampal neurons.

The results suggested that bilberry fruits exerted the neuroprotective effect on hippocampal neurons in diabetes through its antioxidants activity.

Furthermore, in order to find more information of bilberry effect on the brain, researchers examined it's anthocyanoside (VMA) and/or its main anthocyanidin constituents (cyanidin, delphinidin, and malvidin) neuroprotective effect against retinal damage in vitro and in vivo.

In RGC cultures, VMA and all three anthocyanidins protected the brain against SIN-1 (chloride) toxicity, inhibited lipid peroxidation in mouse forebrain homogenates through the antioxidant property and  NMDA-induced morphological retinal damage by allowing high levels of calcium ions (Ca2+) to enter the cells.

Moreover, VMA and all three anthocyanidins also protected the retinal damage by increasing the TUNEL-positive cells in the ganglion cell layer.

Dr. Matsunaga N, the lead scientists said, "VMA and its anthocyanidins have neuroprotective effects (exerted at least in part via an anti-oxidation mechanism) in these in vitro and in vivo models of retinal diseases".

Taken altogether, bilberry may be considered a functional food for prevention and treatment of neurological diseases associated with neurotoxicity, pending to the validation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Effect of feeding with bilberry fruit on the expression pattern of αCaMKII in hippocampal neurons in normal and diabetic rats by Matysek M1, Mozel S1, Szalak R1, Zacharko-Siembida A1, Obszańska K1, Arciszewski MB. (PubMed)
(2) Bilberry and its main constituents have neuroprotective effects against retinalneuronal damage in vitro and in vivo by Matsunaga N1, Imai S, Inokuchi Y, Shimazawa M, Yokota S, Araki Y, Hara H.(PubMed)
(3) Environmental Chemicals and Human Neurotoxicity: Magnitude, Prognosis and Markers by Anetor J. I. 1, Anetor G.O. 2, Iyanda AA1 , Adeniyi FAA. (the University of Ibadan)

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