- In 2003 Nutritional Neuroscience published an animal study which found that mice engineered to have Alzheimer’s performed maze tests normally and did not show elevated levels of amyloid beta (the primary trigger for Alzheimer’s) when blueberries were included in the diet starting at 4 months.
Anti-aging – Slows brain aging
- In 2006 Neurobiology of Aging published an animal study which found that 10 weeks of a blueberry supplemented diet protected rats exposed to an inflammatory trigger from a number of neurodegenerative processes in the brain.
- In 2008 Free Radical Biology and Medicine published an animal study which found that 12 weeks of a blueberry supplemented diet improved the working memory of aged animals.
- In 2010 Glia published an animal study which found that a 2 percent supplemented blueberry diet prevented aged-induced brain inflammation in rats by activating a type of brain cell known as microglia which act as the primary form of immune defense in the central nervous system.
Antioxidant content – Fresh vs dried vs frozen
- In 2004 the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology published a study which found that there was no difference in the concentration of anthocyanins (antioxidants) between fresh blueberries and blueberries that had been frozen for 3 months. Dried blueberries had a 41 – 49 percent reduction in anthocyanins. There was no difference in the antioxidant activity (although concentration was reduced in dried blueberries, the activity of the anthocyanins was equal) between the anthocyanins in fresh, frozen or dried blueberries.
Improved insulin sensitivity
- In 2010 The Journal of Nutrition published a 32-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial which found that a blueberry smoothie containing 22.5 grams of blueberry bioactives consumed twice daily for 6 weeks improved insulin sensitivity in obese, non-diabetic, insulin-resistant subjects.
Reduced risk of diabetes
- In 2013 BMJ published a study based on data from based on previously conducted large-scale survey-based studies. The results showed an association between whole fruit consumption (particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples) and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- In 2012 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study based on data from based on previously conducted large-scale survey-based studies which showed that a higher consumption of anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich fruit was associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.
- In 2005 Experimental Neurology published an animal study which showed that 4 weeks of feeding with blueberries, spinach and spirulina reduced brain damage in rats caused by blockages of blood flow to the brain.
Improved endothelial function
- In 2015 Nutrients published a double-blind study in which 44 subjects with metabolic syndrome received either a blueberry or placebo smoothie twice daily for 6 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, compared to the placebo group, the blueberry group had significantly improved endothelial (tissue that lines blood vessel walls) function.
Enhanced cognitive function
- In 2009 Behavioural Brain Research published an animal study which showed that mice given a wild blueberry extract exhibited significant improvements in learning and memory, which were closely related to higher antioxidant concentrations in the brain.
Enhanced cognitive function in children
- In 2016 the European Journal of Nutrition published a double-blind, cross-over study in which 21 children consumed a placebo or a single blueberry drink containing 15 or 30 grams of wild blueberries. Cognitive tests administered at immediately before and 1, 3 and 6 hours after treatment showed that blueberry consumption improved cognitive performance with the greatest improvement seen in the group consuming 30 grams of blueberries.
Improved blood pressure and arterial stiffness
- In 2015 the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published an 8-week, double-blind study in which 48 women with high blood pressure received either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder or 22 grams of a placebo powder. The blueberry group exhibited a significant reductions in blood pressure and arterial stiffness while no change was seen in the placebo group.
Reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in PTSD
- In 2016 the Public Library of Science published an animal study in which rats were either fed a blueberry-enriched diet or a normal diet and exposed to cats to simulate post-traumatic stress disorder. The rats supplemented with blueberries showed reduced oxidative stress and inflammation as well as restored neurotransmitter levels.
Increased cerebral blood flow
- In 2017 Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism published a study in which 24 older adults received either 30 mL of blueberry concentrate or a placebo for 12 weeks. Cognitive tests and MRI administered before and after treatment showed the blueberry group had increases in cerebral blood flow and brain activity and improvements in working memory compared to the placebo group.
- In 2002 Nutritional Science published an animal study which showed that rats fed a diet containing 14 percent blueberries for 6 weeks had significant protection against brain damage caused by induced stroke, compared to rats in a control group.
- In 2015 Metabolic Brain Disease published an animal study which showed that a blueberry-supplemented diet protected rats from induced brain damage.
- In 2016 Planta Medica published an animal study which showed that 75 days of both wild blueberry full spectrum powder and wild blueberry extract improved working and spatial memory in aged mice.
- In 2011 the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study in which 12 weeks of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice improved learning and word list recall and reduced depressive symptoms in 9 older adults with mild memory decline.
Learning and memory
- In 2012 Psychopharmacology published an animal study which showed that rats placed on a 2 percent blueberry diet for 7 weeks displayed faster learning, better maze solving performance and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (a protein that supports brain growth) compared to a control group.
- In 2010 Glia published an animal study which found that rats placed on a 2 percent blueberry diet had reduced age-induced brain inflammation.