Handful of blueberries a day may keep dementia at bay

Handful of blueberries a day may keep dementia at bay
Courtesy: Reuters

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati have reported that adding blueberries to the daily diets of certain middle-aged populations may lower the chances of developing late-life dementia.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but be sure to eat your blueberries too.

Researchers have long proclaimed the benefits of the fruit, but scientists from the University of Cincinnati have now reported that adding blueberries to the daily diets of certain middle-aged populations may lower the chances of developing late-life dementia.

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"We had observed cognitive benefits with blueberries in prior studies with older adults and thought they might be effective in younger individuals with insulin resistance," said Dr. Robert Krikorian. "Alzheimer's disease, like all chronic diseases of ageing, develops over a period of many years beginning in midlife."

For the study, the researchers enrolled 33 patients from around the local area between the ages of 50-65 who were overweight, prediabetic and had noticed mild memory decline with ageing.

Over a period of 12 weeks, the patients were asked to abstain from berry fruit consumption of any kind except for a daily packet of supplement powder to be mixed with water and consumed either with breakfast or dinner.

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Half of the participants received powders that contained the equivalent of one-half cup of whole blueberries, while the other half received a placebo.

In addition, Dr Krikorian noted that participants in the blueberry-treated group showed improvement on cognitive tasks that "depend on executive control", and also had lower fasting insulin levels.

Full study results have been published in the journal ‘Nutrients’.

(Reuters)

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