Alzheimer's DementiaElderly

Changes in memory afer drinking blueberry juice

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Researchers at Tufts University, in Boston studied the effects of drinking wild blueberry juice in older adults with early memory changes.

First, the details.

  • 9 older adults with early memory changes drank blueberry juice daily for 12 weeks.
  • The was no placebo group and no attempt to conceal the treatment given.

And, the results.

  • At 12 weeks, there was significantly improved paired associate learning and word list recall.
    • Paired associate learning involves the pairing of 2 items (usually words) — a stimulus and a response. For example, “calendar” (stimulus) and “shoe” (response) may be paired. The learner is prompted with the stimulus and responds with the appropriate response.
    • Word list recall involves repeating a list of 10 high-frequency, high-imagery words at 1 word every 2 seconds. After the list is presented 3 times, the patient is asked to recall the list of words.
  • There was no significant change in depressive symptoms and blood sugar levels.

The bottom line?

This is a preliminary study. So, the results are interesting but there’s a lot more research to be done before blueberry juice can be recommended for routine use.

According to the authors, the results establish a basis for more comprehensive human studies of the effect of blueberry juice on memory in older people.

1/26/10 21:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.