In healthy older adults, daily use of wild blueberry (WBB) powder, corresponding to 178 grams of fresh weight, enhances vascular and cognitive function and lowers 24 hour ambulatory systolic blood pressure, says an article published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
There is proof that eating blueberry (poly)phenols leads to enhancements in vascular health and mental functioning. It is still uncertain if these cognitive benefits are related to improvements in cerebral and vascular blood flow or modifications in the gut microbiome. Therefore, this study was carried out by Eleanor Wood and colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of WBB in cognitive functioning and related modifications.
A parallel, double-blind randomized controlled experiment including 61 healthy older people aged 65 to 80 years was done. Participants either received a matching placebo (26g of 0 mg anthocyanins) or 26g of freeze-dried wild blueberry (WBB) powder (302 mg anthocyanins). At baseline and 12 weeks after daily intake, endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), cognitive function, arterial stiffness, blood pressure (BP), cerebral blood flow (CBF), gut flora, and blood parameters. Micro-elution solid phase extraction combined with LC-MS was used to investigate (poly)phenol metabolites in plasma and urine.
The key findings of this study were:
1. As compared to the placebo group, the WBB group showed a substantial rise in FMD and a decrease in 24-hour ambulatory systolic blood pressure.
2. Additionally, WBB therapy was shown to be superior to placebo in terms of improved instantaneous recall on the auditory verbal learning task and improved accuracy on a task-switch task (p 0.05).
3. Comparing the WBB group to the placebo group, the total 24-hour excretion of (poly)phenol in the urine rose considerably.
4. Both the makeup of the gut flora and CBF remained unchanged.
This shows that WBB (poly)phenols may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the elderly population and may enhance executive functioning and episodic memory in older people who are at risk of cognitive decline.
Wood, E., Hein, S., Mesnage, R., Fernandes, F., Abhayaratne, N., Xu, Y., Zhang, Z., Bell, L., Williams, C., & Rodriguez-Mateos, A. (2023). Wild blueberry (poly)phenols can improve vascular function and cognitive performance in healthy older males and females: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. In The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.03.017