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Why Blueberries Could Prevent Alzheimer's

The secret that unites Alzheimer's and heart disease

Preventing Alzheimer's, or completely ending this neurodegenerative disease, is one of the current dreams of medicine. We may be closer to achieving it.

Blueberries are known for their great antioxidant power and its large amounts of vitamin C, and in recent years. Its potential is enviable, or at least as evidenced by the different investigations carried out. And apparently, we can still get more potential if possible according to a recent study by the University of Cincinnati.

In the work, led by Robert Krikorian, a curious conclusion has been reached about blueberries: Preventing Alzheimer's through these fruits is possible. And today we will explain how it is possible.

Blueberries to prevent Alzheimer: How is it possible?

Blueberries, as a good source of antioxidants, contain antacyanins, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant function. Although there is some controversy regarding these types of substances and their role in preventing cell damage associated with age (better known colloquially as aging), the hypothesis that antioxidants can delay the ravages of the passage of years continues. The question is, could this be applied to prevent Alzheimer's?

The famous neurodegenerative disease is characterized by causing memory, thinking and behavioral problems. His symptoms appear slowly, until a point comes where the progression is faster. Previous studies have already seen potential in blueberries to prevent Alzheimer's and other diseases that affect the brain, such as Parkinson's, but Krikorian and colleagues have conducted two new studies to confirm their hypotheses about it.

Using blueberries against dementia

In the first of his experiments he met a group of 47 adults 68 years of age or older who were already beginning to show signs of the so-called Mild Cognitive Impairment, which we now know increases the risk of Alzheimer's by four. This group in turn was divided into two subgroups, one of which consumed placebo once a day for 16 weeks, while the other subgroup consumed lyophilized blueberry powder (an amount equivalent to one cup of this fruit).

After conducting various tests and comparing both groups, the conclusion was clear: Those who had consumed blueberries showed a significant improvement in your cognitive performance and mental functions.

In the second study, which included 94 people between the ages of 62 and 80 with memory problems but who seemed to have better cognitive functions at the researchers' discretion, they were divided into up to four subgroups. In this case they were given to consume four types of substances: Cranberry powder, fish oil, fish oil with cranberries, and placebo.

The conclusion was a bit stranger this time: Brain functions improved slightly in those who took either blueberries or fish oil, separately, but without seeing improvements in memory (at least not as much as in the first study). For Krikorian these results could be due to the fact that the study subjects had less mental deterioration than the first.

The other benefits that we know about blueberries

As you can see, blueberries seem to help improve memory and other brain function problems only in those who already have moderate or severe impairment. If you suffer from mild memory problems, this fruit will not have many effects, so it is a little risky to suggest that blueberries can prevent Alzheimer's. If anything, delay its progression, but already at a moderate stage.

On the other hand, today we know that blueberries can have many other benefits, at least according to new research:

Blueberries may be used to treat Parkinson's.

Blueberries may prevent Diabetes.

Cranberries seem to have some benefit in UTIs.

Blueberries can be used to treat gum diseases.

Blueberries, thanks to the mentioned antioxidants, could be used to treat aging.

And you? Do you know of any more benefits associated with blueberries that we haven't mentioned?

Going | EurekAlert!