Blueberries and Brain Health

Byron's Comments:

Blueberries are a super fruit, as good as any in the world.

Study Title:

A blueberry-enriched diet provides cellular protection against oxidative stress and reduces a kainate-induced learning impairment in rats.

Study Abstract:

Young male Fischer-344 rats were fed a diet containing 2% blueberry (BB) extract or control diet for at least 8 weeks and then received bilateral hippocampal injections of kainic acid (KA 200 ng/0.5 μl) or phosphate buffered saline (PBS). One week later rats were trained in one-way active footshock avoidance in a straight runway followed the next day by training in a footshock motivated 14-unit T-maze with documented sensitivity to hippocampal glutamatergic manipulations. Based on analyses of several performance variables, KA-treated rats exhibited clearly impaired learning performance; however, the BB diet significantly reduced this impairment. Supporting the behavioral findings, stereological assessment of CA1 pyramidal neurons documented greater neuronal loss in KA-treated controls compared to KA-treated rats on the BB diet. In an in vitro experiment, FaO cells grown in medium supplemented with serum from BB-fed rats had enhanced viability after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. These findings suggest that BB supplementation may protect against neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment mediated by excitotoxicity and oxidative stress.

Study Information:

Kara B. Duffy, Edward L. Spangler, Bryan D. Devan, Zhihong Guo, Jonna L. Bowker, Anne M. Janas, Adrienne Hagepanos, Robin K. Minor, Rafael DeCabo, Peter R. Mouton, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, James A. Joseph, Donald K. Ingram A blueberry-enriched diet provides cellular protection against oxidative stress and reduces a kainate-induced learning impairment in rats. NEUROBIOLOGY OF AGING 2008 November Volume 29, Issue 11, Pages 1680-1689
Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.




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