Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults
ABSTRACT The prevalence of dementia is increasing with expansion of the older adult population. In the absence of effective therapy, preventive approaches are essential to address this public health problem. Blueberries contain polyphenolic compounds, most prominently anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, anthocyanins have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers, mediating memory function as well as improved glucose disposal, benefits that would be expected to mitigate neurodegeneration. This study investigated the effects of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice in a sample of nine older adults with early memory changes. At 12 weeks, improved paired associate learning (p = 0.009) and word list recall (p = 0.04) were observed. In addition, there were trends suggesting reduced depressive symptoms (p = 0.08) and lower glucose levels (p = 0.10). We also compared the memory performances of the blueberry subjects with a demographically matched sample who consumed a berry placebo beverage in a companion trial of identical design and observed comparable results for paired associate learning. The findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term blueberry supplementation can confer neurocognitive benefit and establish a basis for more comprehensive human trials to study preventive potential and neuronal mechanisms.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Robert Krikorian, Jul 31, 2014
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ABSTRACT: The genus Vaccinium represents an increasingly important group of plants for the U.S. green industry. In 2012, blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) ranked the second most important berry crop in the U.S. with a total crop value over $780 million. The popularity of blueberries creates opportunities as well as challenges for nursery crop producers. This article presents a review of current nursery production practices of blueberry and explores the challenges and opportunities for nursery crop producers, including pesticide use during nursery production of an edible crop, and discusses current research relevant to the green industry. Needs for additional research and opportunities for breeding are presented. Blueberries are Ericaceous plants and have very specifi c cultural requirements. This review presents the culture, as well as insect, mite, and disease control from an integrated pest management (IPM) approach for several blueberry species. A serious threat to the blueberry market, spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii Matsumura) is discussed to provide information needed by commercial producers and landscape managers to address client and customer questions. This review also highlights the most relevant blueberry selections for container production in the southeastern United States.
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ABSTRACT: Research indicates that the chronic consumption of flavonoids is associated with cognitive benefits in adults with mild cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disease, although to our knowledge, there have been no such studies in healthy older adults. Furthermore, the effects of commonly consumed orange juice flavanones on cognitive function remain unexplored. We investigated whether 8 wk of daily flavanone-rich orange juice consumption was beneficial for cognitive function in healthy older adults. High-flavanone (305 mg) 100% orange juice and an equicaloric low-flavanone (37 mg) orange-flavored cordial (500 mL) were consumed daily for 8 wk by 37 healthy older adults (mean age: 67 y) according to a crossover, double-blind, randomized design separated by a 4-wk washout. Cognitive function, mood, and blood pressure were assessed at baseline and follow-up by using standardized validated tests. Global cognitive function was significantly better after 8-wk consumption of flavanone-rich juice than after 8-wk consumption of the low-flavanone control. No significant effects on mood or blood pressure were observed. Chronic daily consumption of flavanone-rich 100% orange juice over 8 wk is beneficial for cognitive function in healthy older adults. The potential for flavanone-rich foods and drinks to attenuate cognitive decline in aging and the mechanisms that underlie these effects should be investigated. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01312610. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 03/2015; 101(3):506-14. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.114.088518 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to physicochemically characterize and determine the antioxidant activities and anthocyanin contents of organic Rabbiteye blueberries grown in Southern Brazil and its derived products, in order to investigate the utility of food processing wastes as raw materials for developing products with beneficial health properties. The antioxidant capacity of the blueberries was superior to that of other fruits and juices. The pomace exhibited high activity, albeit lower than that of the fruit, while the flour and the dried blueberries lost 66% and 46% of the original antioxidant activity, respectively. The average anthocyanin contents of the fruits were moderate compared to other sources and species of blueberries. The pomace contains a large amount of anthocyanins while the flour and dried blueberries exhibited a 32% and 42% loss in anthocyanin content, respectively. The use of agro-industrial residues, in addition to adding value and minimizing the impact caused by the accumulation in the environment, can be directed toward the development of new products with bioactive properties.01/2014; 34(4):773-779. DOI:10.1590/1678-457X.6470