Antioxidant superfood = good for pretty much everything.
In every dose
100mg (25mg Anthocyanins)
(equal to about 20 blueberries)
Flavonoids show promising effects on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and in the future, flavonoids might be used in new drugs to treat these diseases.
What’s in it for my brain?
Blueberries contain anthocyanins (a group of flavonoids with antioxidant activity), which are thought to be responsible for their beneficial health effects. Anthocyanins are also responsible for the strong colour of a lot of fruit and veg - so if you’re looking to up your antioxidant ante, check out the brightest hues first.
Anthocyanins can positively impact learning, concentration and memory across all ages. They do this by helping to increase your brain’s neuronal signalling abilities and glucose distribution.
Blueberries also have protective effects which can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and improve motor and cognitive function. The reason for the beneficial effects of flavonoids on Alzheimer’s could be because the anthocyanins stop the build-up of toxic deposits in the brain (known as amyloid beta plaque).
Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins may reduce the risk of heart disease, by helping to reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, otherwise known as LDL cholesterol.
They also reduce DNA damage which could protect against certain cancers.
Reduced risk of death (seriously)
Improved weight maintenance
Better glucose regulation, which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Plays well with
Other antioxidant vitamins
Chromium for glucose control
There is no recommended intake or safe level for blueberries, but some studies propose consuming up to 400mg a day. Most of us don’t eat anywhere near enough fruits and vegetables to get close to these levels. (For example, in the US, people only get about 12.5 mg per day.) So, supplementing could be an easy way to up your intake and experience the health benefits associated with anthocyanins.
Here’s a handful of relevant scientific studies on blueberry polyphenols.
Rodriguez-Mateos, A., Cifuentes-Gómez, T., Tabatabaee, S., Lecras, C., & Spencer, J. P. (2012). Procyanidin, anthocyanin, and chlorogenic acid contents of highbush and lowbush blueberries. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(23), 5772-5778.
Khurana, S., Venkataraman, K., Hollingsworth, A., Piche, M., & Tai, T. C. (2013). Polyphenols: benefits to the cardiovascular system in health and in aging. Nutrients, 5(10), 3779-3827.
Boespflug, E. L., Eliassen, J. C., Dudley, J. A., Shidler, M. D., Kalt, W., Summer, S. S., ... & Krikorian, R. (2018). Enhanced neural activation with blueberry supplementation in mild cognitive impairment. Nutritional neuroscience, 21(4), 297-305.
Kalt, W., Cassidy, A., Howard, L. R., Krikorian, R., Stull, A. J., Tremblay, F., & Zamora-Ros, R. (2020). Recent research on the health benefits of blueberries and their anthocyanins. Advances in Nutrition, 11(2), 224-236.
Wilms, L. C., Boots, A. W., De Boer, V. C., Maas, L. M., Pachen, D. M., Gottschalk, R. W., ... & Kleinjans, J. C. (2007). Impact of multiple genetic polymorphisms on effects of a 4-week blueberry juice intervention on ex vivo induced lymphocytic DNA damage in human volunteers. Carcinogenesis, 28(8), 1800-1806. Chicago
Riso, P., Klimis-Zacas, D., Del Bo, C., Martini, D., Campolo, J., Vendrame, S., ... & Porrini, M. (2013). Effect of a wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) drink intervention on markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial function in humans with cardiovascular risk factors. European journal of nutrition, 52(3), 949-961.
Del Bo, C., Riso, P., Campolo, J., Møller, P., Loft, S., Klimis-Zacas, D., ... & Porrini, M. (2013). A single portion of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L) improves protection against DNA damage but not vascular function in healthy male volunteers. Nutrition Research, 33(3), 220-227.
Willis, L. M., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. A. (2009). Recent advances in berry supplementation and age-related cognitive decline. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 12(1), 91-94.
Subash, S., Essa, M. M., Al-Adawi, S., Memon, M. A., Manivasagam, T., & Akbar, M. (2014). Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural regeneration research, 9(16), 1557.
Tan, L., Yang, H., Pang, W., Li, H., Liu, W., Sun, S., ... & Jiang, Y. (2017). Investigation on the role of BDNF in the benefits of blueberry extracts for the improvement of learning and memory in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 56(2), 629-640.
de Andrade Teles, R. B., Diniz, T. C., Costa Pinto, T. C., de Oliveira Júnior, R. G., Gama e Silva, M., de Lavor, É. M., ... & Cavalcante, T. C. F. (2018). Flavonoids as therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: a systematic review of preclinical evidences. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2018.
Whyte, A. R., Schafer, G., & Williams, C. M. (2016). Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7-to 10-year-old children. European journal of nutrition, 55(6), 2151-2162.
Yamakawa, M. Y., Uchino, K., Watanabe, Y., Adachi, T., Nakanishi, M., Ichino, H., ... & Kawata, Y. (2016). Anthocyanin suppresses the toxicity of Aβ deposits through diversion of molecular forms in in vitro and in vivo models of Alzheimer's disease. Nutritional Neuroscience, 19(1), 32-42.