Portland, ME (PRWEB) June 11, 2012
A recent study has found that people who include berries in their weekly diets show reduced rates of memory decline. Conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the first long-term, large-scale epidemiological study of its kind, the research discovered that consuming as little as one serving of blueberries per week can slow memory decline in older adults.
“This is encouraging news for everyone, regardless of age,” noted Susan Davis, MS, RD, nutrition advisor to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. “Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of age-related memory decline, and this study adds to a growing body of research showing that the compounds in Wild Blueberries might benefit people in this area, as well as in a number of other areas including diabetes, cardiac health and more.”
The study, published in Annals of Neurology in April, used data collected from the ongoing Nurses' Health Study, started in 1976 to collect long-term information about health and nutrition habits.
“This is the first study to find that adding a weekly serving of berries to one's diet can slow memory decline,” said study co-author Dr. Elizabeth Devore. “It's a dietary change most people can make – and maintain over a long period of time – without difficulty.”
The participants in the study who regularly consumed the highest amount of berries showed delays in memory decline of up to 2.5 years. Participants who consumed even one weekly half-cup serving of blueberries demonstrated reduced memory decline.
Davis noted that brain health – reduced memory loss, maintaining brain function, staying alert as we age – is an area of great interest to men and women of all ages.
“Think about what the findings of this study can mean for Alzheimer's disease,” said Davis. “Potentially delaying the onset of this disease for a year or two has tremendous individual and public health ramifications.
Devore's study focused on anthocyanidins and other flavonoids as the compounds responsible for slowing cognitive decline. Wild Blueberries are packed with more anthocyanidins and flavonoids per serving than most other berries, making them a natural choice for people interested in adding berries to their diets.
Because Wild Blueberries are frozen fresh at harvest and conveniently available in the frozen fruit section of most grocery stores, it is easy to include them in a healthy diet. Consumers appreciate the ease-of-use that comes with having whole, frozen Wild Blueberries readily available in their own freezers for smoothies; to add to yogurt or cereal; and to use in baking and dinner recipes.
“Berries are good for us – we've known that for a long time,” Susan Davis said. “Now we know that eating berries like Wild Blueberries on a regular basis can be good for our brains.”
Dietary Intakes of Berries and Flavonoids in Relation to Cognitive Decline http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.23594/abstract
About the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (http://www.wildblueberries.com)
The Wild Blueberry Association of North America is a trade association of growers and processors of Wild Blueberries from Maine and Canada, dedicated to bringing the Wild Blueberry health story and unique Wild Advantages to consumers and the trade worldwide.
For news, recipes, and related health information about Wild Blueberries, visit http://www.wildblueberries.com, http://www.wildblueberryhealthblog.com and follow http://www.facebook.com/wildblueberries and http://www.twitter.com/WildBBerries4U.