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May 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 3)

More proof that blueberries keep us sharp as we get older
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

More proof that blueberries keep us sharp as we get older image

More evidence this week that blueberries help keep us sharp mentally as we get older. Older folk—aged from 65 onwards—who drink a glass of blueberry juice every day have better cognitive functions, a new study has found.

The fruit also seems to help improve working memory, researchers from the University of Exeter discovered when they gave the juice to a group of healthy older people for three months. Each day, the group drank 30ml of concentrated blueberry juice—the equivalent of 230g of the fruit—while another group instead drank a 'dummy' juice, or placebo.

At the end of the 12 weeks, both groups were tested for their memory and cognition skills while their brains were monitored by an MRI scanner, and the group who drank the real blueberry juice 'significantly' outperformed the others in all the tests. There was also more brain activity going on during the tests.

The researchers excluded anyone who was already eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and all the participants stuck to their usual diet.

Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which are anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories.


References

(Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2017; doi: 10.1139/apnm-2016-0550)

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