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Sea bilberry is a powerful natural antidepressant due to its strong antioxidant properties
The antioxidant and antidepressant properties of the sea bilberry (Vaccinium bracteatum) could be linked to its ability to regulate cellular apoptosis caused by stress, suggested researchers from the Jeonnam Institute of Natural Resources Research in South Korea. Their study was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
The researchers looked at the ability of sea bilberry to prevent oxidative stress and identified the mechanisms behind its antidepressant activities. To test their hypothesis, they measured malondialdehyde (MDA), serotonin transporter (SERT), and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) levels in a murine model of chronic restraint stress.
In vitro model of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced neuronal damage was conducted to determine the underlying mechanisms behind its antioxidant and anti-apoptosis activities.
The results indicated that sea bilberry significantly reduced MDA, SERT, and MAO-A levels in the prefrontal cortex in mice subjected to chronic restraint stress.
Sea bilberry was also effective in protecting against H2O2-induced cell death by inhibiting mitochondria-associated proteins, including cytochrome c, caspase-3, and PARP.
The treatment also improved the antioxidant activity of SOD and catalase in H2O2-treated Sh-SY5Y cells.
In sum, SERT and MAO-A regulation mediate the antidepressant and antioxidant activities of sea bilberry.