There Is No Cure for Alzheimer's ---
But Blueberries Help a Lot
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May 26, 2018

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]









For reasons no one understands yet, the number of people
diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is increasing. Perhaps we
have always had the same percentage of those with
Alzheimer's and we have simply gotten better as a society in
detecting and reporting this dreadful affliction. That is a subject
of debate. What is not debatable is that there currently are 5.4
million people with Alzheimer's disease in America and,
according to the Alzheimer's Association, that number is
expected to increase by 40% to reach 7 million by 2025, a
short 7 years from now.

Inside the brain, Alzheimer's looks like  tangles of nerve
endings and areas of plaques built up between the nerve
endings. The nerve cells themselves look as if they are dying.

On the outside, Alzheimer's looks like a man or woman turning
into a ghost of themselves. I spent a lot of time with an in-law
with Alzheimer's as well as the husband of a friend with
Alzheimer's.  They must be reminded to get dressed, to brush
their teeth. They forget that they have already eaten and will
eat again. As the disease progresses from early Alzheimer's to
late Alzheiler's, you see a person repeating stories, then they
repeat one story, then they can not tell any story. You see a
person who forgets where they live, what day is it, a face of a
house guest, then they forget a face of a niece or nephew, a
son, a daughter. The last face they forget is that of a spouse.


There is no cure yet for Alzheimer's. But there is help. We have
written about some of the remedies that seem to slow the
progression of the disease or that help you lower your risk for
getting the disease.

One of the most promising developments in slowing or
preventing Alzheimer's involves blueberries.

Blueberries Are on the Scene in The Area of the Brain That
Controls Memory

After eating blueberries, people with early dementia showed
higher concentrations of anthocyanin antixodants found in
blueberries in the hippocampus region of the brain. This is the
region activated when you try to recall items. Tracing the
footsteps of blueberries directly to the site of memory in the
brain was one of the findings of a 2005 study on lab rats from
the University of Barcelona.

Scientists suspected that special antioxidants found in
blueberries improve memory.
Anthocyanins give blueberries
their deep bluish, purple color and are found in other purple
foods. Studies on these purple foods have found that they also
reduce the risk of many types of
cancer.

This is how the study went. Two sets of rats were fed either
blueberries or a control for 8 weeks. The rats were given
memory tests before the experiment started. After 8 weeks of
feeding with either the blueberries or the control having no
blueberries, the rats were again given memory tests. Those rats
that had eaten the blueberries scored far better on the memory
tests. The rats were then sacrificed and their brains biopsied.
Only the brains of the rats that had eaten the blueberries
showed levels of anthocyanins. The rats that had no blueberry
no zero anthocyanins in their brains.

The types of anthocyanins found in the brains of the rats that
had eaten the blueberries were tested  were
cyanidin-3-O-beta-galactoside, cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucoside,
cyanidin-3-O-beta-arabinose, malvidin-3-O-beta-galactoside,
malvidin-3-O-beta-glucoside, malvidin-3-O-beta-arabinose,
peonidin-3-O-beta-arabinose and
delphinidin-3-O-beta-galactoside.  Again, none of these
anthocyanins were found in the brains of rats that had eaten
no blueberries.

The regions of the brain where these anthocyanins were found
included the cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus (where
memories are stored) and the striatum.

This was the first study to show that anthocyanins cross the
blood brain barrier and concentrate themselves in the areas of
the brain active in the forming and storing of memories.



The Studies Linking Blueberries Directly with Improving
Memory in Humans Are Controversial
































Now let's look at the studies on humans. Back in 2016, there
were a lot of headlines around the web announcing that
"blueberries cured Alzheimer's".

These headlines were based on a
2011 study conducted by a
team of Phds led by Robert Krikorian of the University of
Cincinnati Academic Health Center.  Before we get to what the
study found, it should be noted that the study was funded by
Wild Blueberry Association of North America and a grant from
the National Institutes of Health. We are not told the relative
sizes of the funding sources but it is fair to conclude that the
Wild Blueberry Association of North American provided most of
the funding since it is listed first.

Receiving funding from a commercial enterprise whose
products you are testing does not mean necessarily that your
work is not good science. It does mean that you have a
potential conflict of interest and that readers should be more
skeptical or careful than usual in assessing the results.

We should also note that Dr. Krikorian was not the only
scientists on the study. He was joined by a scientist from the
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and Tufts
University and a third scientist from Agriculture & Agri-Food
Canada. Neither of these organizations is tied by profit to the
blueberry industry.


The Krikorian study was a small study of only 9 individuals
having an average age of 76 with signs of early dementia.

The participants were evaluated at the start of the study for
"paired associate learning" and word recall. Word recall is
self-explanatory - you're given a list of words and later asked
to recall them. Paired associate learning is less well known.
With paired associate learning, someone is given two words in
a pair. The meanings of the words are not related to each
other. The first word acts as a stimulus and the second as a  
response. Later, when the tester says the first word, you are
better able to recall the second. Less often, when you hear the
second word, you are better able to remember the first.
Scientists believe that we use paired associate learning
naturally throughout our day and also when we learn a new
language.

Both paired associative learning and word recall require your
brain to process through the hippocampus.

For 12 weeks, the 9 participants were then fed a daily serving
of wild blueberry juice from ripe, frozen blueberries.

At the end of the 12 weeks, they were again tested on paired
associate learning and word recall. Both areas showed
significant improvement. Paired associate learning improved by
41.9 % (13.2 versus 9.3). Word recall improved by 33% (9.6
versus 7.2).


How Much Blueberry Juice Should You Drink?

The amount of blueberry juice the participants drank varied
with their body weight.

Those who weighed between 54 to 64 kg (119 to 141 pounds)
were given prescribed 444 mL/day.

Those who weighed between 65 and 76 kg (143.3 to 167.5
pounds) drank 532 mL/day.

Those who weighed between 77 and 91 kg (169.7 to 200.6
pounds) drank 621 mL/day.


























































Related:
Alzheimer's Disease -An Ideal Prevention Diet

Dancing Reduces Dementia Risk By 76%

Why Do I Forget Things?-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

Improve Your Memory- Simple Steps

Foods That Shrink Your Waist /

Foods That Fight Depression

How to Raise Your IQ Naturally
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Anthocyanins in blueberries improve two types of
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