Background: With global increase in elderly population, modern societies must find strategies to reduce the consequences of aging process; thereby decreasing the incidence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress and recently inflammation, have been pointed out as the leading causes of brain aging. Thereby, the consumption or administration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules, such as polyphenols, is a beneficial strategy recommended for preventing brain aging and several brain age-related diseases.
Methods and Results: Several studies suggest that long term consumption of dietary polyphenols offers protection against development of neurodegenerative diseases. These beneficial effects are in part due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, together with their positive role in the modulation of processes involved in the physiopathology of several neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., epigenetic factors, amyloid deposition, cholinesterase inhibition, autophagy, and neurotrophic factors, among others). Altogether, these molecules open the door to the research of new neuroprotective strategies. This review summarizes the latest discoveries in how polyphenols can exert positive effects on brain health in aging, emphasizing those effects on the diseases that most commonly affect the brain during aging: Parkinson's Disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia and depression. Moreover, within are addressed the epigenetic effects of polyphenols as possible mediators in their positive effects on brain health, and the future challenges of research in this topic
Conclusion: In brief, this review presents a report of state-of the art knowledge regarding the positive influences of polyphenols on the most common brain age-related diseases as well as in healthy brain aging.