‘Super fruit’ blueberries could play a vital role in preventing Alzheimer’s. The fruit which has already been hailed for its ability to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer contains antioxidants that could prevent the devastating effects of this form of dementia.
A study by the University of Cincinnati found the fruit could improve thinking skills and the memory of people who had mild cognitive problems.
47 adults aged 68 and older were studied who had mild cognitive impairment, a risk condition for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers gave them either freeze-dried blueberry powder, which is equivalent to a cup of berries, or a placebo powder once a day for 16 weeks.
“There was improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo,” lead researcher Dr Robert Krikorian said.
Moving forward, the team plans to conduct a blueberry study of those aged 50 to 65. The group would include people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, such as those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are obese. This study could help researchers uncover whether blueberries could be used in the prevention of the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.