Battle Dementia With Berries

Strawberries, blueberries appear to delay mental decline by up to 2.5 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2012 9:57 AM CDT
Battle Dementia With Berries
Strawberries and blueberries may battle dementia.   (Shutterstock)

There's a tasty new weapon in the struggle to stay sharp as we age: munching lots of strawberries and blueberries may slow the brain's aging by up to 2.5 years, a study of some 16,000 women over age 70 finds. Researchers tracked the women's cognitive function every two years between 1995 and 2001; those who were big on the berries saw mental decline delayed. While the study only looked at women, the findings may be applicable to men, too, the Daily Mail reports.

Scientists attribute the delay to antioxidant compounds in the berries known as flavonoids, which can fend off brain-cell-harming free radicals. But researchers caution that the study must be taken with a grain of salt; there could be other variables involved. "Broccoli, blueberries, Mediterranean diet, Sudoku ... it is very difficult indeed to be sure that this is not residual confounding," says an expert. "These kinds of dietary patterns are associated with many other positive attributes, which themselves are associated with healthier aging." (Read more strawberries stories.)

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