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American studies uncovers the berry that can stop cognitive decline in its tracks

by , 28 September 2016
American studies uncovers the berry that can stop cognitive decline in its tracks
You already know that brain food is a real thing. You've heard how foods like olive oil, salmon, turmeric and even red wine can improve your memory and protect your brain health…

But researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in the US have uncovered in two separate studies that blueberries could be the best brain food out of the lot!

Blueberries have already been touted a “super fruit” for its ability to slash your risk of cancer and heart disease, but, according to this new research, it may also be the only weapon you need to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Currently 5.3 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease… and that number just keeps growing!

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people in America alone who suffer from this degenerative disorder could rise 40% to more than 7 million by 2025, and it could almost triple by 2050!
 
In an attempt to slow down the alarming progress of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers conducted two human studies to follow up on earlier clinical trials…

Two new studies find that eating blueberries may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease

For one study, the scientists gave 47 adults aged 68 and older with mild cognitive impairment (a risk condition for Alzheimer’s disease) either a placebo powder or freeze-fried blueberry powder (equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries) once a day for 16 weeks.
 
The scientists found a drastic improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo, reported lead researcher Robert Krikorian in a press release. He added that the blueberry group demonstrated “improved memory and improved access to words and concepts”. What’s more, MRI scans showed increased brain activity in those who took the blueberry powder.

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The second study involved 94 people aged 6 to 80, broken into four groups, who felt their memories were declining but didn’t have objectively measured cognitive problems. These groups received placebo, fish oil or blueberry powder.
 
Krikorian admitted that the results for this study weren’t as robust as with the first. He said that cognition was somewhat better for those with fish oil or blueberry powder separately, but that there was little improvement with memory.
 
The MRI were also less striking for those who ingested the blueberry powder, which is likely because the participants has less severe issues in the second study, Krikorian suggested.
 
From these findings Krikorian concluded that blueberries may be more effective in treating people with cognitive impairments, but may not benefit those who have yet to develop any cognitive issues. Him and his team plan to find this out in a future blueberry study with a younger group of participants.
 

Scientists think that blueberries’ powers could be due to anthocyanins

Krikorian said that blueberries’ ability to prevent Alzheimer’s disease could be due to flavonoids known as anthocyanins, which have been shown to boost animals’ cognition. He said that the berry is chock-full of antioxidants that may help prevent the unsettling effects of the increasingly common form of dementia.
 
While we wait for further research on the brain-boosting benefits of blueberries, go and stuff your face with them – it will only do your brain good! Blueberries are delicious in a smoothie, in a fruit salad or simply as a snack. Just be sure you always opt for the organic kind. Enjoy!

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