Scientists have discovered mechanisms to explain how blueberries can improve memory and restore healthy neuronal function to aged brains.1-11
New research reported in peer-reviewed journals by scientists around the world confirms the wide range of health benefits attributed to blueberries, while pointing to promising new therapeutic applications:
• In a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience,15 a blueberry-supplemented diet was found to greatly enhance the spatial memory of laboratory animals. When later studied in vitro, the animals’ brains demonstrated structural changes associated with an improved capacity for learning. Researchers believe the two findings are directly correlated.
• In a study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cold-pressed blueberry, Marionberry, boysenberry, and red raspberry seed oils were evaluated for their fatty acid composition. The oils were found to contain antioxidants with a high capacity to absorb oxygen radicals, and were deemed potent sources of tocopherols, carotenoids, and natural antioxidants.16
• The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that in an in-vitro study of aortic tissue of young rats, wild blueberries incorporated in the diet positively affect the plasticity of vascular smooth muscle, but have no deleterious effect on membrane sensitivity. This finding suggests that blueberries may have applications in helping prevent heart disease and stroke in humans.17
• In a similar study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers demonstrated that in rat aortic tissue, compounds from berry extracts caused cell changes that may affect cellular signal transduction pathways and contribute to improved cardiovascular health.18
• Research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that nutritional antioxidants found in blueberries can reverse age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction as well as cognitive and motor deficits. The investigators speculated that blueberry supplementation may also help slow declines in brain function that accompany diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.19
• In an in-vitro study published in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 24 hours of exposure to extracts of blueberry antioxidants sharply reduced the production of matrix metalloproteinases—enzymes believed to play key roles in malignant tissue metastasis—in human prostate cancer cells. This led the researchers to postulate that blueberry supplementation may help prevent tumor metastasis.20
1. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):630-5.
2. Nutr Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(6):427-31.
3. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Mar;9(1):35-42.
4. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;959:128-32.
5. Mutat Res. 2003 Feb 5;535(1):103-15.
6. Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Feb;27(2):344-50.
7. Nutr Res. 2009 Feb;29(2):130-8.
8. Neurobiol Aging. 2007 Aug;28(8):1187-94.
9. J Med Food. 2009 Feb;12(1):21-8.
10. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2005 Sep;34(5):581-4.
11. Br J Nutr. 2008 Jul;100(1):70-8.
12. J Agric food Chem. 2005 May 4;53(9):3403-7.
13. Life Sci. 2006 Jul 10;79(7):641-5.
14. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jul 28;52(15):4713-9.
15. Casadesus G, Shukitt-Hale B, Stellwagen HM, et al. Modulation of hippocampal plasticity and cognitive behavior by short-term blueberry supplementation in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Oct-Dec;7(5-6):309-16.
16. Parry J, Su L, Luther M, Zhou K, et al. Fatty acid composition and antioxidant properties of cold-pressed marionberry, boysenberry, red raspberry, and blueberry seed oils. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 9;53(3):566-73.
17. Norton C, Kalea AZ, Harris PD, Klimis-Zacas DJ. Wild blueberry-rich diets affect the contractile machinery of the vascular smooth muscle in the Sprague-Dawley rat. J Med Food. 2005;8(1):8-13.
18. Kalea AZ, Lamari FN, Theocharis AD, et al. Wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption affects the composition and structure of glycosaminoglycans in Sprague-Dawley rat aorta. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Aug 17.
19. Lau FC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. The beneficial effects of fruit polyphenols on brain aging. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Sep 26.
20. Matchett MD, Mackinnon SL, Sweeney MI, Gottschall-Pass KT, Hurta RA. Blueberry flavonoids inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activity in DU145 human prostate cancer cells. Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Oct;83(5):637-43.
Once freeze dried, food products have the following benefits:
Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport.
Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.
** Freeze Drying vs. Other Drying Methods: