Jabuticaba and Jambo: good for memory and preventing obesity diseases

A doctoral research by nutritionist Ângela Giovana Batista has confirmed the benefit brought by jabuticaba and red jambo for learning and memory in animal models. It has also confirmed the action of bioactive antioxidant compounds and fibers of these red fruits in the prevention of diseases associated with obesity. The thesis, oriented by Professor Mario Roberto Maróstica Júnior, was developed at the Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory, Faculty of Food Engineering (FEA), and was cooriented by Professor Maria Alice da Cruz Höfling, Laboratory of Cellular Ultrastructure, Institute of Biology (IB).
"Our group has been working with jabuticaba since 2008 and, as the studies have shown beneficial effects of the fruit, we decided to follow this line of research," explains Ângela Batista. "Jambo is a fruit we did not know much about and we decided to investigate because there is no report in the literature about its effects, and the production yield of a red jambo tree is very high in Brazil. At the time of the harvest, the tree produces a lot and, except in the North and Northeast, people do not consume the fruits, perhaps for lack of knowledge."
According to the nutritionist, red jambo is typical of hot tropical regions, such as Araçatuba in São Paulo, where she collected the samples for research. "I consumed the fruit in natura and its flavor is acid-sweet, light, similar to that of the apple - those of the North and Northeast must taste differently. What is interesting is its smell, it is a fruit that smells like roses. The jambo showed in its composition expressive amounts of fibers and polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, which are compounds associated with beneficial properties against metabolic diseases.
Ângela explains that the first step was to evaluate the chemical composition of jabuticaba and jambo, since each crop, and also each region, has a different composition. "The plant produces these bioactive compounds (antioxidants) to defend against the effects of an unfavourable weather and, as the climate changes, it produces different amounts of these compounds. It was according to the composition that we formulated the hyperlipidic diets for the test animals, using lard to better simulate what is consumed in terms of fat in these times of fast foods."

During the biological assays, the mice spent ten weeks consuming diets with low and high fat concentration, supplemented with jabuticaba peel and red jambo pulp. "After this treatment, the animals showed improvement in markers of obesity, such as decreased fat body mass, increased resistance to peripheral insulin, reduction of pro-inflammatory markers and increased antioxidant defense (fighting free radicals in the body). All of these parameters are associated with the prevention of type 2 diabetes - a large-scale public health problem in Brazil and the world."

 

  • Test of the maze

Ângela Batista considers that an unpublished aspect of her thesis was the investigation of the role of the jabuticaba and the jambo in the memory of the animals. "At the beginning of the research, we observed that the hippocampus, which commands memory and learning (and one of the first regions of the brain to be affected when Alzheimer's begins), suffered oxidative damage due to high free radical consumption of fatty diet, and does not respond adequately to insulin signaling in cells, promoting the phosphorylation of a protein called Tau."

 

Changing in kids, the nutritionist explains that Tau is responsible for the polymerization of microtubules, contributing to maintain the structure of neurons and especially of axons. "When phosphorylated at various sites, Tau separates from the microtubules, and is associated forming neurofibrillary tangles. These tangles impair neuronal plasticity and, thus, neurons lose their connections and synapses, being unable to perform tasks of access and acquisition of memory. Supplementation of the fat diet with both fruits (red jambo and jabuticaba) not only prevented this damage, but also increased insulin sensitivity, avoiding the formation of Alzheimer's markers such as Tau phosphorylation. "

To confirm the findings, the author of the thesis adds, the animals were subjected to the test known as the "Morris water labyrinth": for five days, they were trained to find a platform hidden in a pool. "On the last day, the platform was withdrawn. When looking for it, the animals that did not receive the supplement in the diet did not swim at random, while those who consumed jambo and jabuticaba skin swam exactly where the platform was - a joke within the group was that these animals were using GPS. "

  • Preventive effect

Ângela Batista anticipates that other students in the research group are already getting involved with the technological part of the research line, seeking to incorporate these red fruits into products that reach consumers quickly. "We have already investigated, for example, the effects of tea from the bark of jabuticaba and also in cereal bars. "We began to publicize our studies with this fruit in 2012 and, I do not know if by coincidence or not, news broke out about the use of its bark for the production of flours, juices, yogurts and ice creams. But it is important to point out that such products, when feasible, have a preventive and not curative effect. "The researcher's belief, however, is that prevention is the best medicine, giving the example of Alzheimer's disease, which begins to develop ten or fifteen years before being diagnosed. " It happens that Alzheimer's markers are already there - and that's when feeding is very important. Today, people are more aware that 'you are what you eat', retaking values ​​of the old medicine preached by Hippocrates: that your food is your medicine.

If you can't find these superfruits to supplement your diet in your region, concentrated fruit extracts, like those Extract of Life offers, can promote the same prevention benefits if taken regularly and according to a nutritionist instruction. It is even safer to take them that way since the industry has regulations that guarantee to the best knowledge of current science, that the extract capsules will be safe. 

Here you can find our Jabuticaba extract!

 

"medio tutissimus ibis"