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James Joseph, PhD, a nutrition researcher at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, begins his days by drinking a glass of pomegranate juice and eating a cup of wild blueberries. According to a 2008 article in Psychology Today, after studying blueberries, otherwise known as vaccinium, for years. Dr. Joseph is convinced that they help the brain and the body fights the seemingly endless number of problems associated with aging. While blueberries contain traditional nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C and E, carbohydrates and manganese, they also have anthocyanins, that combat inflammation and oxidative stress. “ Cumulatively, the berries create antioxidant effects, resolving cellular damage made by free radicals of oxygen and hindering pathways from which oxidative stress damages cells. Perhaps importantly, they function as anti-inflammatory agents to reserve cardiovascular and brain reliability.”

In a 2004 talk with Dr. Joseph state that old neurons in the brain are just like couples who have been married an extended time they no longer connect. They allow neurons to once again converse. “Blueberries consists of compounds which improve neuron signals and help turn backward on systems in the brain that can lead to using other proteins to help with memory or other cognitive skills.”

In his research on rats and mice, Dr. Joseph has found that rats that eat blueberries have fewer circumstances of Alzheimer’s disease and lower examples of arthritis-related swelling. He and his colleagues have also determined that blueberries may be useful for those undertaking radiation therapy. They decrease the effects on cognitive and motor skills and might “remove radiation-induced nausea.” Rats that were fed a diet containing two percent blueberry extracts just before experiencing radiation did far better than those rats who received no blueberries before their radiation cures. “Irradiation affects shortages in behavior and signaling in rats which were ameliorated by an antioxidant diet.” Possibly, “the polyphenols in these fruits might be acting in different brain regions.””

Dr. Joseph has even observed that blueberries tend to work best when eaten with certain high-fat foods such as walnuts, which contain polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids. Working together, the walnuts and blueberries make nerve cell membranes more receptive. As a result, “the efficacy of all transactions” is improved. In addition, the combination of blueberries and walnuts “might help block swelling at the cellular level, a procedure now concerned in Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and additional degenerative processes of aging.”

Cardiovascular health

A Canadian study lead by Wilhelmina Kalt, PhD, a researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, published in 2008 in the British Journal of Nutrition, reported that pigs who were fed a 2-percent blueberry diet experienced decreases of total, DDL, and HDD cholesterol. The two-percent blueberry diet is equal to two cups of blueberries within the human regimen. Why is this significant? Pigs and humans have similar levels of DDL. They are susceptible to diet-related vascular illness and atherosclerotic plaques within the carotid artery and aorta. Additionally, their blood pressure and heart rate look like human blood pressure and heart rate. A 2008 article in Grocer states that as a result of her research. Dr. Kalt advises people to eat at least four ounces of blueberries every day.



In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Navindra Seeram, PhD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, reported that the extracts of common berries, like blueberries, that are full of antioxidants, prevent the development of vitro mouth, breast, prostate and colon cancer. Dr. Seeram along with his classmates also dogged that greater quantities of berries prevent higher numbers of cancer cells. “With growing concentration of berry extract, growing inhibition of cell proliferation in all of the cell lines was noticed, with numerous grades of strength in between cell lines.”

Another study, published in 2007 in Clinical Cancer Research, describes research conducted by scientists at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the relationship  in between pterostilbene, a naturally occurring antioxidant  within blueberries, and colon cancer. During the study, rats were given a compound to encourage colon cancer. Half of the rats were then placed on a balanced diet; the other half was given the same diet, but it was supplemented with pterostilbene. At the end of eight weeks, when compared to the control group, the rats that had ingested supplementary pterostilbene had 57 % less pre-cancerous colonic cuts. Scientists determined that the “study suggests that pterostilbene, a compound present in blueberries, is of great interest for the prevention of colon cancer.” Agnes Rimando, PhD, a researcher with Natural Products Utilization Research in Mississippi, a division of the USDA Agriculture Research Service, has found similar results. In her research Dr. Rimando has noted that pterostilbene might well impair the capability of enzymes to stimulate chemical carcinogens. Thus cells might then turn cancerous do not.

Anti-aging and general well-being

It has been well established that there is a strong relationship between oxidative stress, aging and chronic illness. Furthermore, the antioxidants in blueberries are known to fight that oxidative stress. A research study published in 2007 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discovered that it is not only significant for individuals to consume blueberries and other antioxidant foods. It is also significant when they eat them. To reduce oxidative stress throughout the day, the researchers suggest consuming blueberries or other antioxidant foods along with every meal.

A 2006 study published in Neurobiology of Aging addressed the fact that as people age, the heat shock proteins within the brain, like antioxidants, maintain healthy brain jobs. Can consuming blueberries inverse this drop? For ten weeks, scientists nourished a blueberry-enhanced food to young as well as old rats and compared them to a control group of old rats, who were fed a diet without blueberries. As expected, after ten weeks the brains of the young rats were found to contain large amounts of proteins, and brains of the old rats who don’t consume blueberries had lower quantities of proteins. Though, the heat shock proteins of the old rats who ate blueberries were completely restored. Researchers concluded that blueberries may well play a serious role in protecting against the neurodegenerative processes that often 12 are associated with aging.

A 2005 article in Nutrition Today summarizes the many reasons for including blueberries in the diet. “Blueberry is becoming more commonly familiar because of its taste, nutrition, and health benefits. Both production and consumption in the United States have more than doubled in the last 20 years. Not only are blueberries ranked among the highest in antioxidant activity when compared to other fruits and vegetables, they are also one of the richest sources of anthocyanins.” And, there is very strong evidence that the consumption of anthocyanins reduces the risk the heart disease, cancer, and other problems associated with aging.

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