New research has found that concentrated blueberry juice is linked to improvements in brain blood-flow and cognitive function in older people.*
Researchers believe the flavonoids and pterostilbene content of blueberries, which can be obtained more easily and in greater concentration in supplement form, is likely responsible for these beneficial effects.
The study from England’s University of Exeter employed 26 healthy subjects ages 65 to 77. Twelve of the subjects drank concentrated blueberry juice once daily. The other 14 received a placebo. The study went on for 12 weeks.
Prior to and after the study, the participants were given a number of cognitive tests while their resting blood flow was measured and an MRI monitored their brain activity to establish a baseline.
Results showed that, during the study, subjects who consumed the blueberry concentrate had a significant increase in brain activity compared to those who took the placebo.
Editor’s Note: This study backs up a large number of studies showing the health benefits of fruits and vegetables in general. “Our cognitive function tends to decline as we get older,” said lead study author Dr. Joanna Bowtell. “But previous research has shown that cognitive function is better preserved in healthy older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods.”