Brain boost: Celery contains luteolin – reducing inflammation in grey matter
A taste for celery is one that many people never acquire, but scientists have just given them a reason to eat it.
They have discovered that a chemical found in high concentrations in celery – and in peppers – could halt memory loss as we get older.
The U.S. researchers say the plant compound luteolin reduces inflammation in the brain, which is associated with ageing and its related memory problems, by halting the release of molecules that cause the inflammation.
The team from the University of Illinois studied the effects of luteolin on the brains and behaviour of young mice aged three to six months and older ones aged two years.
Mice typically live between two and three years. The mice were fed a controlled diet or a luteolin-supplemented diet for four weeks.
Normally older mice have higher levels of brain inflammation and fare less well in memory tests than younger adult mice.
But the scientists, whose research was published yesterday in the Journal of Nutrition, found that older mice on the luteolin-supplemented diet did better in learning and memory tasks than their peers.
Their levels of brain inflammation matched those of the younger adult mice.
Professor Rodney Johnson, who led the research, said: ‘The data suggests that consuming a healthy diet has the potential to reduce age-associated inflammation in the brain, which can result in better cognitive health.’

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