Berry Berry Brainy - Healthier Brains Through Blueberries and Strawberries
Posted Jun 18 2012 9:00am
David Bishop Inc.
Eating more sweetberries can keep our brains
healthier, according to a new study published in the Annals of
Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child
The study, conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Devore with Brigham and Women’s
Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., suggests
cognitive decline can be delayed up to 2.5 years in elderly women who
eat more flavonoid and antioxidant-rich berries.
"We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries slowed
progression of cognitive decline in elderly women," notes Dr. Devore.
"Our findings have significant public health implications as increasing
berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to test cognition
protection in older adults."
The research team used data from the Nurses’ Health Study—a cohort of
121,700 female, registered nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 who
completed health and lifestyle questionnaires beginning in 1976. Since
1980 participants were surveyed every four years regarding their
frequency of food consumption. Between 1995 and 2001, cognitive function
was measured in 16,010 subjects over the age of 70 years, at 2-year
intervals. Women included in the present study had a mean age of 74 and
mean body mass index of 26.
Findings show that increased consumption of blueberries and
strawberries slows cognitive decline in older women. A greater intake of
anthocyanidins and total flavonoids was also associated with reduced
Researchers observed that women who had higher
berry intake delayed cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. The authors
caution that while they did control for other health factors in the
modeling, they cannot rule out the possibility that the preserved
cognition in those who eat more berries may be also influenced by other
lifestyle choices, such as exercising more.