Will This Brain Study Have Big Pharma Trying to Patent Berries?

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Mood & Memory
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

If Big Pharma had ever thought about patenting a berry extract, new research may have them scrambling to try just that.

While several animal and small-scale human studies have shown that berries can stop age-related memory decline, and even help reverse it, a new large-scale study shows just how powerful berries are for protecting the brain—especially as we age.

Researchers analyzed data from the well known Nurses’ Health Study, which included 121,700 women. Starting in 1980, they followed a group of 16,010 of those women ages 70 and older, monitoring their dietary habits every four years and assessing their cognitive function every two years.

What they found is that the women who ate blueberries and strawberries on a regular basis had a 2.5 year slower decline in cognitive function than those whose berry consumption was much lower.

The reason is that berries are nature’s richest sources of proanthocyanidins, powerful phytochemicals that protect against free radicals and oxidative damage. Free-radical damage is one of the predominant theories of aging, and that includes aging of the brain.

So, enjoy all of the delicious berries while they’re at their peak throughout the summer months, or buy them frozen for year-round use. Another option is a concentrated, nutrient-dense berry extract.

Now it’s your turn: Do you eat strawberries and blueberries?

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