Blueberry Juice Linked to Improved Brain Function in Later Years
Previous studies have found that high flavonoid intake is associated with reduced age-related cognitive decline in animals. A new study involving humans suggests that drinking a concentrated blueberry juice (which is high in flavonoids) may improve brain function in mature adults.
Participants in the study included 26 people between the ages of 65 and 77 who were given either a concentrated blueberry juice that provided the equivalent of 230 g of blueberries or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. All of the participants took cognitive tests and underwent an MRI scan to monitor brain function and resting brain blood flow at the onset and conclusion of the study.
The researchers found that the blueberry supplement group had significant improvements in brain blood flow, brain activation and some aspects of working memory, compared to placebo.
Researchers from Exeter University in the UK conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 1, 2017, in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Blueberries are high in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins and flavanols. Previous studies suggest that they may help decrease the risk of dementia, aid in weight management, improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
Blueberries are easy to add to your diet because they go well with pancakes, salads and smoothies.