Blueberry juice for better memory

A new study supports the belief that ingesting blueberries can improve memory. Robert Krikorian of the University of Cincinnati's Department of Psychiatry and his colleague published a paper suggesting that the anthocyanins in the berries may boost neuronal signaling and help get rid of glucose in the brain, both of which would slow the death of brain cells. From the American Chemical Society (Wikimedia Commons image):
 Wikipedia En 8 88 Pattsblueberries In the study, one group of volunteers in their 70s with early memory decline drank the equivalent of 2-2 l/2 cups of a commercially available blueberry juice every day for two months. A control group drank a beverage without blueberry juice. The blueberry juice group showed significant improvement on learning and memory tests, the scientists say. "These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration," said the report.
"First evidence that blueberry juice improves memory in older adults" (Eurekalert)

"Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults" (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)


  1. Maybe it’s the mental effort involved in FINDING blueberry juice in the supermarket that causes the effect.

    Did they control for that by making some of the subjects BUY blueberry juice, but not actually drinking it?

  2. YOU CALL THIS SCIENCE! There is no indication in the abstract that it was a double blind placebo study! Sheesh….I dare say this reeks of homeopathy! Like anything natural could be good for the body! Heresy I say!

  3. Kinda surprising that the juice works per se: often with fruits we’re told to eat the whole thing, and that extracted juice is just sugar water.

    Although maybe a third group who ate blueberries would have done even better.

  4. This is a study of 9 old demented people getting press in a journal of food chemistry.

    I’m convinced!

  5. Hm. I sat through a colloquium on this subject in grad school, something like 7 years ago. The speaker (could be one of these guys, for all I know) presented such a flurry of evidence about teh brain awesomeness of blueberries that I left feeling very suspicious that it was one more food-evangelism fad. But I have to say, a quick detour over to PubMed tells me that people sure have published a lot of peer-reviewed papers on this subject, in humans and animals. And at least in animals, unlike most other putative cognitive enhancers, it seems to get effects both in improving memory in regular adult animals and remediating decline in senescent or alzheimers-model animals.

    It still seems hard to believe, but if I’m gonna argue that scientific consensus counts in some cases (*ahem*), I s’pose I’d better be willing to accept it in others (where I’m not an expert).

  6. I’ll have to remember to buy some blueberries next time I’m at the grocery store. Oh wait, damn!

    1. A friend of mine dragged me to his house for a “Free Talk”. It turned out to be a pyramid scheme for distributorships of what basically boils down to Magical Blueberry Juice. Increases libido! Lowers blood pressure! More Omega 3s than salmon! The recommended dosage would cost you a couple hundred dollars a month, but if you became a distributor and got only two people under you, you could make 100K a year!

  7. The most interesting studies I’ve read in the last several years was about vitamin E and it’s effects on the hippocampus (sp?) The thing in the brain that I think creates memories or turns short term memories into long term memories – something like that. But heck, what harm could eating extra blueberries do? may as well pass this on to some of the elderly folk I know – some who definitely need Something for their memory.

  8. Omega-3 has lots more research behind it (but I wish there was far more):

    I think it’s going to be difficult to get better funding for studies on fish oil because for one thing it’s the worst nightmare for big pharma and the other is that I think many still don’t understand the importance of administering it with an enteric coating and get somewhat bogus results without it.

    1. Fish oil may be great for you, but it’s destroying the oceans. Hope you’re okay with making an extremely selfish trade-off!

      1. Fish oil may be great for you, but it’s destroying the oceans.

        Then we’d better step up our cleanup efforts. We need to get the rest of the fish oil out of our oceans before it does any more damage than it already has!

      2. Fish oil may be great for you, but it’s destroying the oceans. Hope you’re okay with making an extremely selfish trade-off!

        Xenu, using the coal to power your computer to type that shit may be great for your theta, but it’s destroying our atmosphere. Hope you’re okay with making an extremely selfish trade-off! I personally run my computer off of solar panels during the day and a treadmill at night. Meanwhile, I ferment blueberries and get drunk as shit and burn tires.


        And yes, when I’m not participating in my hobby of dumping radioactive, toxic sludge into pristine lakes, rivers and oceans… I consume fish oil.

        The wicked fish oil I take comes particularly from three small species of fish. They are specifically anchovies, sardines and mackerel (says it right on the label, yo). These fish reproduce quickly and it makes them resilient to fishing pressure. Also, the fishing gear used to catch these small suckers does little harm to other sea life and the general marine habitat.

        Xenu, if you have an inexpensive, effective and more sustainable source for Omega 3, please let me know about it. I know fish oil probably isn’t the perfect source, but I do try to get it from more sustainable sources and the kind I get doesn’t “destroy the oceans” as much as I’d like it to.

        TEKNA2007, I looked into flaxseed oil a long time ago and it’s apparently fine for women but it’s been linked numerous times to prostate cancer in men. So it’s been an unfortunate no-go for me. There are other sources out there for Omega 3, but I’ve found them prohibitively expensive compared to the enteric coated fish oil I get.

  9. there was also recently a study that said that exercise improves memory and brain function (people who exercise even figure things out quicker than those who don’t, and have a decreased risk of Alzhermer’s). And exercising is way cheaper than blueberries!!

    1. I also forgot to mention that at least in the research I’ve seen flax lacks the beneficial longer chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) of fish oil. But, either way… I’m not risking prostate cancer with flax.

  10. Eh…. this study smells of crap. But I do like blueberries a lot! I know a really great reason to eat them. They taste good and make great muffins and awesome pies. Unless of course you don’t like blueberries.

  11. I would imagine that getting seniors to perform mental agility games for 12 weeks would improve their recall, blueberries or not.

  12. Their sample was “nine older adults with early memory changes.” NINE?! Not even ten? That’s way too small a sample. You could get the same results with nine adults taking flintstones vitamins.

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