Wild Blueberries May Support Cognitive Health
Blueberries are one of the richest sources of plant compounds called anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a new study, wild blueberry powder may provide cognitive health benefits.
Participants in the study included 133 adults between the ages of 65 and 80, 86 of whom were experiencing cognitive issues. Half of the participants experiencing cognitive issues were given 35 grams of wild blueberry powder and the other half were given a placebo powder daily for 6 months. The participants not experiencing cognitive issues were included in the study as a reference group and did not receive either intervention.
Participants’ cognitive function was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period using the Cambridge Neurological Test Automated Battery Test. This test evaluates working memory, processing speed, executive function, and sustained attention.
Participants in the wild blueberry group saw significant improvements in processing speed compared to the placebo group. The improvements seen restored participants’ processing speed to the level seen in the reference group with no cognitive issues. Improvements were strongest in participants aged 75 to 80.
The study was conducted by researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was published online ahead of print September 6, 2002 in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
High dietary fiber intake was found to help protect cognitive function in a previous study.