Researchers led by UC’s Robert Krikorian, PhD, found that adding blueberries to the daily diets of middle-aged populations may lower the chances of developing late-life dementia. The findings were recently published in the journal Nutrients.
Over a period of 12 weeks half of the participants in the study received the equivalent of one-half cup of whole blueberries, while the other half received a placebo.
Participants were given tests that measured cognitive abilities that decline in patients with aging and late-life dementia, such as working memory, mental flexibility and self control.
Krikorian said those in the blueberry-treated group showed improvement on cognitive tasks. Krikorian said the blueberry group displayed an additional mild degree of higher mitochondrial uncoupling, a cellular process that has been associated with greater longevity and reduced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to symptoms like fatigue and memory loss.