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Blueberry juice could provide alternative therapy for memory loss

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

A new study shows that drinking blueberry juice improved memory in older adults, and might be an alternative treatment for cognitive decline associated with aging, shown in a preliminary study. Seniors in their 70’s drank blueberry juice for two months and were compared to a group who drank a berry placebo beverage. The results showed that antioxidants in blueberries might improve memory by boosting neuronal signaling.

The study authors say, "The prevalence of dementia is increasing with expansion of the older adult population. In the absence of effective therapy, preventive approaches are essential to address this public health problem.” Blueberries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals known as anthocyanins that might improve memory by boosting neuronal signaling in brain centers.

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The small study included nine older adults with memory loss who drank two 2 1/2 cups of blueberry juice daily. After 12 weeks the researchers observed improved word list recall compared to the group given a berry placebo. Both groups showed improvement for paired associate learning.

The authors write, "These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration" Lower glucose levels and less depression was also observed among older adults who drank blueberry juice.

Supplementing with blueberry juice might be an alternative to improving memory loss in older adults. Preliminary findings from the small study show that older adults improved memory and learning skills from drinking blueberry juice daily.

J. Agric. Food Chem. DOI: 10.1021/jf9029332