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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Berries May be Berry Good for You

Since I happen to like berries, I was very pleased by the report of new research suggesting that eating berries will slow your cognitive decline. It seems that too often the nutritional benefits are greatest from those foods that we may not care so much about (kale comes to mind). Elizabeth E. Devore, Jae Hee Kang, Monique M. B. Breteler, and Francine Grodstein have published a study in the Annals of Neurology that described results from the analysis of longitudinal data.
Based on a survey of more than 16,000 women who filled out regular questionnaires on their health habits from 1976 through 2001, the findings showed that those who ate the most berries delayed cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.Every two years from 1995 to 2001, researchers measured mental function in subjects over age 70, according to the study published in the Annals of Neurology.
"We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of cognitive decline in elderly women," said Elizabeth Devore, a doctor with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Our findings have significant public health implications as increasing berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to test cognition protection in older adults."
In the published article, the authors mentioned blueberries and strawberries, in particular, so we should all be putting those regularly on our shopping lists. And, keep in mind, that you are never too young to establish good nutritional habits. Indeed, improved nutrition has been the leading edge of the health transition all over the world. It takes modern medicine to reach high life expectancies, but it is important to build on a platform of a good diet and exercise regime.

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