April 26, 2012

2 Min Read
Blueberries, Strawberries Delay Cognitive Decline in Elderly

BOSTONOlder adults may want to incorporate more flavonoid-rich blueberries and strawberries into their diets to reduce their risk of cognitive decline, according to a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. The findings suggest consuming greater amounts of the flavonoid-rich berries may delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School investigated whether greater intake of berries could slow rates of cognitive decline. They used data from the Nurses' Health Studya cohort of 121,700 female, registered nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 who completed health and lifestyle questionnaires beginning in 1976. 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.

Results show increased consumption of blueberries and strawberries appear to slow cognitive decline in older women. A greater intake of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids also was associated with reduced cognitive degeneration. Women who had higher berry intake delayed cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.

"We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of cognitive decline in elderly women," said lead author Dr. Elizabeth 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."

A study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham last year found adding as little as one cup of raw blueberries to a daily diet may help prevent cell damage linked to cancer. The findings suggest the antioxidants, flavonoids and other vitamins in blueberries may help prevent the free radical damage associated with cancer.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like