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A couple of things to remember about that blueberry-juice study

January 22, 2010 |  8:52 am

Berries Antioxidants? Blueberries have them. Potentially beneficial phytochemicals? Ditto. Memory-boosting powers? Um...

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati compared nine elderly adults with "early memory changes" who drank blueberry juice every day with a group of similar adults who didn't. After 12 weeks, those who drank the juice performed better on learning and recall tests.

The researchers wrote: "The findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term blueberry supplementation can confer neurocognitive benefit ..."

And from this comes the headlines "Blueberry juice may boost memory," "Blueberry juice could halt memory loss," "Blueberry juice could stave off dementia."

Earlier research in rodents had suggested blueberries might have a positive effect on memory, but ... nine people? A 12-week study? It's a starting place for further research. 

Eat blueberries if you like them, drink blueberry juice if you like it. But at this stage, a balanced diet is a smarter way to go than cramming yet another food stuff onto what is likely already a full plate.

Here's the abstract from the study, published Jan. 4 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 

-- Tami Dennis

Photo credit: David Karp / For the Times

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