May 23, 2005
Blueberries, Spinach, Spirulina Reduce Stroke Damage
BALTIMORE-- A diet rich in spinach, blueberries and spirulina limits brain cell death andimproves recovery of movement following a stroke, according to a study publishedin Experimental Neurology (193,1:75-84, 2005) (www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00144886).
Adult male rats were administered diets high in blueberries, spinach orspirulina, or a control diet for four weeks, then anesthetized. Stroke wasinduced and the animals brains were removed for examination. A subgroup ofanimals was studied for stroke-induced changes in locomotion and biochemistry.Rats fed the blueberry-, spinach- or spirulina-enriched diets experienced lesssevere stroke in the cerebral cortex and less inhibition of movement followingstroke. No differences in blood biochemistry, blood carbon dioxide andelectrolyte levels were noted among the test groups, suggesting the protectionagainst neural damage may have been mediated through changes in physiologicalfunctions.
The researchers concluded the results of the study suggest regular ingestionof blueberry, spinach or spirulina reduces apoptosis due to stroke.
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