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Can Blueberries Aid the Reversal of Age-Related Mental Decline

Packed full of powerful antioxidants, blueberries are an excellent addition to any diet and highly regarded for their health protective effects.

Can Blueberries Aid the Reversal of Age-Related Mental Decline
Packed full of powerful antioxidants, blueberries are an excellent addition to any diet and highly regarded for their health protective effects.

Yet, an exciting new animal study has found that a diet rich in blueberries has the ability to slow and possibly even reverse age-related mental decline.

In the placebo-controlled study, published in the journal, Nutrition, scientists looked at the benefits of supplementing the diets of elderly rats with blueberries.

Results showed that the rats fed a diet rich in blueberries showed a significant improvement in memory scores, as measured in a maze.

“This illustrates a surprisingly prompt and powerful effect of an antioxidant dietary intervention”.

Blueberries have already been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, with scientists speculating that the beneficial effects may be down to their high flavonoid content which may affect learning and memory by improving neuronal connections, cellular communication and stimulating neuronal regeneration.

The researchers concluded, “The present study is encouraging in terms of potential human application. First, the present results suggest that even a relatively brief blueberry diet might produce measurable benefits. Second, the benefits of several months of the diet might be maintained for a considerable period after the diet is interrupted. Third, blueberry supplementation might possibly reverse some degree of memory impairment that has already developed. This raises the possibility that this sort of nutritional intervention might still be beneficial even after certain memory deficiencies have become evident.”

Source:
Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2010.05.001
Malin, Lee et al. Short-term blueberry-enriched diet prevents and reverses object recognition memory loss in ageing rats
 
     
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