Blueberry is a fruit rich in vitamin C and the fruit is able to meet 25 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C for adult human. Not only vitamin C, the fruit is also giving intake of fiber and manganese which are essential for bone growth and bone health. Some scientists have found that blueberry can prevent some types of cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease!
A group of researchers from the University of Cincinnati, led by Dr. Robert Krikorian found that the antioxidant in blueberry is able to optimize memory and improve cognitive function. The researchers believe that by adding blueberry in our daily diet, we can prevent neurocognitive impairment.
Blueberries color comes from anthocyanins, flavonoid compound that acts as antioxidant. Consumption of antioxidants on a regular basis can help us to prevent cell damage as a result of increased age, in other words, the consumption of blueberry can prevent aging.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are highly recommended to maintain health and according to some studies, Krikorian and his colleagues concluded that blueberries can reduce the risk of dementia significantly.
One branch of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, intrudes memory and causes neurodegenerative disorder that may develop in the brain slowly. This disorder should not be ignored because it can damage the autonomic nervous system that regulates the heart rate. The majority of Alzheimer’s patients died due to run out of breath.
So far, no less than 5.3 million Americans suffer from this disease, especially in the older age groups. Alzheimer’s Association has predicted that increasing patient population will reach up to seven million people in 2025.
Slow the Trend of Alzheimer’s Disease
Associated with several studies that mention the effect of blueberry on improving cognitive abilities, Krikorian and colleagues conducted two other studies. The first study conducted on 47 people, aged 68 years or older, who began to show symptoms of cognitive impairment. Krikorian and colleagues applied some tests and brain scans on each participant.
They formed two groups, one group was given placebo powder once a day for 4 months and the second one was given frozen blueberry powder as much as one cup. The researchers found an increase in cognitive function in second group. According to Krikorian, each member of the second group increased their memory and ability to weave concepts and words. This was evidenced by brain scans that recorded an increase in their brain activity.
The second study was conducted on 94 people, between 62 and 80; they have problems in processing memory. Krikorian and colleagues divided them into four groups, and each group was given blueberry powder, fish oil, fish oils and powders, as well as placebo. Cognitive enhancement occurred in those consuming both the blueberry and fish oil, but the improvement was not as good as in the first study. Both studies concluded that blueberries consumption is very effective for patients with mental disorders and scientists have agreed that the health-related function of blueberry is caused by anthocyanins!