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Blueberries show potential in fighting Alzheimer's

Update Date: Mar 22, 2016 01:01 AM EDT

Researchers believe that fighting Alzheimer's disease can be included among the positive traits of blueberries.

Lead author Robert Krikorian said that their new findings corroborate previous animal and human studies, Medical News Today reported.

Initial studies by Krikorian and the team followed 47 adults with mild cognitive impairment who were at least 68 years old. They were given a portion of freeze-dried blueberry powder or a placebo powder once a day for a total of 16 weeks, according to the Net Doctor.

Those who had the blueberry powder exhibited improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in comparison with those who received the placebo.

Krikorian also believes that while blueberries may not provide much help for those with minor memory problems, they may have some use in treating patients with cognitive impairment.

It is noteworthy that the study was funded by the US Highbush Blueberry Council and Wild Blueberries of North America, alongside the National Institute on Aging.

Already known as a "superfood" for offering protection against conditions such as cancer and heart disease, blueberries are said to boost memory and cognitive function in the elderly.

Krikorian will present the findings of two studies - conducted by the team from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Ohio - at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. 

The compound in blueberries that causes its deep blue coloring  is called anthocyanins, which are also present in other foods such as cranberries, red cabbage and eggplants.

Anthocyanins, as well as high levels of antioxidants in blueberries, are believed to cause the beneficial effects.

Previous research has attributed protection against cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and some forms of cancer to anthocyanins.

 A cup of blueberries contains 24% of an adult's recommended daily vitamin C, 5% of vitamin B6 and 36% of vitamin K, as well as 3.6 grams of fiber.

Blueberries are also popular for its taste and are often added to cereals, salads and desserts.

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