Image Credit: iStockphoto/Olga Lyubkina In the last ten years, blueberries have received a lot of free
publicity. There's always fresh news about the fruit with the highest anti-oxidant capacity and how it keeps
flu, aging, belly fat, cancer, constipation, and heart disease at bay.
The benefits of blueberry consumption are not superstition or folklore
brought back from the natives of the Andes. They are derived from the results of scientific studies published in the most respected scientific journals throughout the world.
The latest study on the sweet petite berry comes from scientists at the University of Cincinnati and appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It follows several animal experiments which suggested that blueberries would help boost memory in older persons.
The protocol of the Cincinnati study involved a small group of volunteers in their 70's who tested as showing early memory decline. One group drank 2 to 2.5 cups of blueberry juice every day for two months, while the control group drank another beverage.
After two months, the groups were given memory and learning tests and the blueberry juice group showed "significant improvement."
"These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that
consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to
forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration," said the report.
Larger studies with older persons and younger age groups will doubtless be conducted to study the effects of blueberries on learning. In the meantime, I'm focusing on the word "forestall" in the above statement. Who wants to wait until they're 70 to start eating blueberries or drinking blueberry juice?
While we're on the subject of juice, almost exactly one year ago, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (vol. 16.1) reported that mice with Alzheimer's symptoms were actually reversed the effects of the disease after one month of the equivalent of 2 glasses of apple juice per day. (Science Daily)
ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry via Science Daily; Women's Fitness