Blueberries Seen to Ease Cognitive Decline, a Key Alzheimer’s Symptom

Blueberries Seen to Ease Cognitive Decline, a Key Alzheimer’s Symptom
Blueberries, a "super fruit" known to decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease, may also be of benefit against Alzheimer's disease, according to findings recently presented at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which, according to researchers, could help prevent the cognitive decline that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. "Our new findings corroborate those of previous animal studies and preliminary human studies, adding further support to the notion that blueberries can have a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function in some older adults," Robert Krikorian, PhD, the study's lead researcher, said in a press release. The beneficial effects of blueberries, he added, could be due to the presence of anthocyanins, flavonoids shown to improve cognition in animals. Following up on earlier clinical trials, Dr. Krikorian and colleagues at University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center conducted two studies in humans. The first included 47 adults, ages 68 and older, with mild cognitive impairment. Participants received either freeze-dried blueberry powder (equivalent to a cup of berries) or a placebo powder once daily for a period of 16 weeks. "There was improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo," Dr. Krikorian said. "The blueberry group demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts." The team also conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which showed increased brain activity in those who ingested the blueberry powder. In the second study, resea
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