Blueberries for Memory

January 27/Cincinnati/U.S. Fed News -- Daily consumption of blueberries helps improve memory, a preliminary study led by a University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher suggests.

The findings, based on a sample of nine older adults with early memory changes, establish a basis for comprehensive human clinical trials to determine whether blueberries are truly effective as a memory enhancer, says Robert Krikorian, PhD, an associate professor in the psychiatry department of the UC College of Medicine.

A report on the study, "Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults," appears in the American Chemistry Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

In the study, one group of volunteers (five men and four women) in their 70s with early memory decline drank approximately 2.5 cups of a commercially available blueberry juice every day for 12 weeks. A control group drank a berry placebo beverage. The blueberry juice group showed significant improvement on learning and memory tests, the scientists say.

"These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration," the report says.

In addition to UC, the research involved scientists from the USDA and Agri-Food Canada.

From the February 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition