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Doctors insist on the benefits of blueberries for the elderly

Медики настаивают на пользе черники для пожилых людейBritish scientists have shown that regular consumption of blueberries stimulate brain activity in the elderly.

It is known that increased fruit and vegetable consumption reduces the risk of developing dementia and in healthy elderly people — stimulates cognitive ability. It is assumed that the effect is due to flavonoids — a class of plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Past work has shown that to improve brain activity can, for example, are rich in flavonoids cocoa beans, pomegranates and oranges.

In the new work, scientists from Exeter University and other universities tested whether the stimulatory effect of blueberries. Participation in the experiment took 26 people without cognitive impairment with a mean age of about 68 years, which were divided into two groups. Within 12 weeks, the first took in the morning 30 ml of blueberry juice (the equivalent of 230 grams of fruit), the second — a placebo. Before and after the test, the volunteers underwent psychological tests for attention, memory, language and spatial ability, in which the activity of their brains was evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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The results showed that, compared with the control group, the participants who took the juice after the experiment increased the activity of some brain regions related to performance tests: field Brodman 4, 6, 10, 21, 40, 44, 45; precentral gyrus; parietal and occipital lobes; the thalamus. In General, the reception of blueberries increased blood flow to gray matter of the brain. Meanwhile, testing has not revealed in the experimental group significant improvements of cognitive abilities: some effect was only observed for working memory and spatial orientation.

According to the authors, the findings suggest that blueberries along with other sources of flavonoids can be used in the prevention of age-related cognitive impairment. In the future, scientists intend to find out whether this effect on the background of different versions of the diet, e.g. Mediterranean diet.

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