Blueberries have a high level of an antioxidant called anthocyanins that defend the plants from threats and can provide benefits to humans including improved metabolic function.

The old adage says that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) shows the potential benefit of a different fruit for your health. Researchers led by UC’s Robert Krikorian, PhD, discovered that adding blueberries to the daily diets of certain middle-aged populations may reduce the chances of developing late-life dementia. The findings were published recently in the journal Nutrients.

For several years, Krikorian’s team has been researching the benefits of berries for people at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. While not entirely different from other berries and plants like red cabbage, Krikorian said blueberries have a particularly high level of micronutrients and antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help give blueberries their namesake color and also help defend the plants against excess radiation exposure, infectious agents, and other threats, Krikorian said.

These same properties that help blueberries survive also provide benefits to humans, Krikorian said, such as reducing inflammation, improving metabolic function, and enhancing energy production within cells.

Previous berry studies Krikorian led focused on older populations, but with this research, the team wanted to study middle-aged individuals in order to focus on dementia prevention and risk reduction. Krikorian explained that about 50% of individuals in the U.S. develop insulin resistance, commonly referred to as prediabetes, around middle age. Prediabetes has been shown to be a factor in chronic diseases, he said.

“We had observed cognitive benefits with blueberries in prior studies with older adults and thought they might be effective in younger individuals with insulin resistance,” said Krikorian, professor emeritus and director of the division of psychology in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. “Alzheimer’s disease, like all chronic diseases of aging, develops over a period of many years beginning in midlife.”

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.