“Since the 1990s, research on the health benefits of blueberries has grown exponentially,” wrote guest editor Donald K. Ingram, PhD, FGSA, in an opening editorial. “Studies have documented that this fruit ranks highest in antioxidant activity compared to many other popular fruits.
Moreover, other mechanisms for the health benefits of blueberries, such as their anti-inflammatory properties, have been identified.”
Ingram’s editorial is followed by four articles in a special section of the journal’s Biological Sciences section. One of the studies found that consuming 200 grams of blueberries (about one cup) daily can improve blood vessel function and decrease systolic blood pressure. As the cause, the authors cited anthocyanins, which are phytochemicals that give blueberries their dark color.
Other studies document the cognitive benefits of eating blueberries. One tied the fruit’s high polyphenol count to improved performance on memory tests by a group of older adults.
Likewise, another journal article provides a review of several clinical studies focusing on benefits of blueberry supplementation — with a focus on specific memory effects in children as well as older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
The journal collection also includes a rodent study, which presents data on the improved memory performance of blueberry-supplemented aged rats compared to rats on a control diet.
The articles presented in this special collection emerged from a symposium titled “Blue versus Gray: Potential Health Benefits of Blueberries for Successful Aging,” held at the World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in July 2017.