Building a Better Brain Could be a Blueberry Away
If there were a way to avoid the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s, that would be amazing.
Nature might provide part of the answer packed in the power of a blueberry.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are common and nightmarish conditions. But they don’t appear out of nowhere. The neurodegenerative changes that lead to it begin several years before the cognitive decline makes itself manifest. This pre-dementia midlife period offers a golden opportunity to make the changes to prevent the appearance of dementia.
Tons of studies have shown that blueberry supplements can help cognition and memory in healthy, older adult and in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Studies show that blueberry helps middle aged adults and kids too.
This just published double-blind study included people who were at increased risk of future dementia. Everyone in the study had subjective cognitive decline. Each was given either a placebo or a blueberry powder supplement for 12 weeks. The blueberry supplement was the equivalent of half a cup of blueberries.
The blueberry group experienced significant improvement on lexical access, memory interference and memory difficulty in daily life activities, meaning that blueberry improved executive function in a way that could protect against future cognitive decline.
This novel and important study suggests that blueberry supplements taken in midlife could actually help prevent dementia in later life.
Nutrients. 2022 Apr;14(8):1619