Blueberries

NC Research Campus study shows blueberries may slow effects of mild memory loss

April 10, 2013
By: Jenna Barnes, TWC News
NC Research Campus study shows blueberries may slow effects of mild memory loss

KANNAPOLIS — Blueberries might be a key ingredient to keeping the mind sharp.

Psychologists at the North Carolina Research Campus think the fruit can slow the effects of mild memory loss.

“Blueberries have an active ingredient in them called anthocyanins,” said lead researcher and UNC professor Carol Cheatham.

Anthocyanins are what gives the berries their color, and it could be key to increasing the connections between neurons in our brains.

“The more connections your neurons have, the more memories they can store,” Cheatham said.

The researchers have dozens of boxes of pulverized blueberry powder, a total of 1,700 pounds. All of the berries originated from the same crop.

“This way we can ensure the properties of the blueberries are all consistent,” Cheatham said.

Each participant drinks two packets of powder with water each day, the equivalent of eating two cups of berries. They go through regular cognitive tests at the research campus.

The games allow researchers to measure how quickly a participant can retrieve a memory.

“I can remember pretty well,” said 79-year-old participant Bill Ashley.

“In the end, we will show that they actually are good for you,” Cheatham said.

The study is still recruiting participants. The researchers plan to start analyzing their data in a year.

– See more at: http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/692791/nc-research-campus-study-shows-blueberries-may-slow-effects-of-mild-memory-loss#sthash.mFXWrC83.dpuf

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