APR 06, 2023 7:30 AM PDT

178g Blueberries Per Day Boosts Memory, Reduces Blood Pressure

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

A cup of blueberries per day could reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function. The corresponding study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  

Studies show that intake of polyphenols found in blueberries is linked to improved vascular function and cognitive performance. Whether these effects are linked to increased cerebral and vascular blood flow in changes in gut microbiota however, has remained unknown. 

To understand more about how blueberries may influence various aspects of health, researchers recently conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. They included 61 healthy men and women aged 65- 80 years old in their study. 

Participants drank a beverage made with 26 grams of freeze-dried wild blueberry powder- equivalent to around 178 grams of fresh blueberries- or a placebo for 12 weeks. 

In the end, they found that those who consumed blueberries had improved memory and accuracy on attention tasks, alongside lower blood pressure, than those on a placebo. 

They also had increased flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the researchers noted that blueberry consumption did not affect CBF or gut microbiota composition. 

“We think the blue pigments in blueberries, the anthocyanins, which are a type of polyphenols also present in other foods such as strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and purple vegetables, are behind these effects as increases in their metabolites were seen in the urine of the volunteers after 12 weeks consumption,” said Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Reader in Nutrition at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London, one of the study’s authors, in a press release

The researchers wrote their findings mean polyphenols found in wild blueberries may reduce future cardiovascular disease risk in older adults. They added that the berries might also improve memory and executive functioning in older adults at risk of cognitive decline. 

Sources: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Neuroscience News


About the Author
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
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