Studies reveal how blueberries aid healthy aging
August 1, 2019

While many people already view blueberries as a superfood, scientists have found even more new reasons to indulge in this healthy snack - according to a number of recent studies in the Gerontological Society, the fruit aids healthy aging.

One study found that consuming 200 grams of blueberries daily can improve blood vessel function and decrease systolic blood pressure.

That ability is said to be associated with the phytochemicals that give blueberries their dark color, says Aol.

Other studies demonstrate the cognitive benefits of eating the fruit.

One links the fruits' high polyphenol count to improved performance on memory tests by a group of older adults.

Another provides a review of several clinical studies on the benefits of blueberry supplementation; specifically with a focus on its specific memory effects in children, as well as older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

"Since the 1990s, research on the health benefits of blueberries has grown exponentially," Aol quoted guest editor Donald K. Ingram, PhD, saying.

"Studies have documented that this fruit ranks highest in antioxidant activity compared to many other popular fruits."

He adds that scientists have identified other mechanisms contributing to the category's health benefits, such as its anti-inflammatory properties.

The group of articles also feature a rodent study. This presented data linking blueberry supplements and improved memory performance of aged rats compared to rats on a control diet.

Other blueberry studies find antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties

Last year, a different study added to the body of research on blueberries' potential antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, with scientists now believing the superfruit could play a role in oral health. 

Powerful antioxidants in highbush blueberries called proanthocyandins (PACs) had a beneficial effect against the type of bacteria that is associated with an aggressive form of gum disease, according to researchers at Laval University in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The study was financially supported by the US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has now been published in the BMC of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.