Brain, Cognitive Function and Aging

The brain is well protected from outside chemicals by the ‘blood-brain barrier’. Some citrus phytochemicals have been shown to be able to cross this barrier and may then directly affect the brain. They may act by reducing the inflammation process and promoting better cognition.

The maintenance of human brain (nervous) tissue is one of the most important functions our bodies provide our brains control virtually every aspect of our activities and functions. From proper nerve cell conduction to maintenance of ‘brain power’, from memory to learning to prevention of memory loss, research is providing support for a unique aspect of certain citrus phytochemicals the ability to penetrate the special tissues protecting the brain tissue. This protection mechanism is called the ‘blood-brain barrier’, and only allows certain chemicals in the bloodstream to penetrate into the brain tissues. Certain citrus phytochemicals, particularly the flavonoids, appear to be among the chemicals allowed to penetrate, and these citrus components are being shown to support brain tissue protection and brain cell maintenance.

Brain and Cognition Techncial Review 2007