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    LE Magazine February 2006


    One of Nature?s Most Potent Antioxidants Offers Powerful Neuroprotective and Other Benefits

    By Russell Martin

    When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries,? according to James Joseph, PhD, lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. ?Call the blueberry the brain berry,? says Dr. Joseph.1

    Dr. Joseph?s claim was made with the publication of his landmark blueberry research. It has since been bolstered by animal studies demonstrating that daily consumption of modest amounts of blueberries dramatically slows impairments in memory and motor coordination that normally accompany aging. Moreover, a wealth of exciting new research clearly establishes that in addition to promoting brain health, this long-prized native North American fruit?whether consumed fresh, frozen, canned, or as an extract?may confer a range of diverse health benefits.

    After testing 24 varieties of fresh fruit, 23 vegetables, 16 herbs and spices, 10 different nuts, and 4 dried fruits, the US Department of Agriculture determined that blueberries scored highest overall in total antioxidant capacity per serving. As most health-conscious adults are aware by now, antioxidants are vital in countering free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that can contribute to cancer and other age-related diseases.2

    Separate studies show that blueberries may help to lower blood cholesterol,3 promote urinary tract health, and reduce the risk of urinary infections.4,5 Studies in Europe have documented the relationship between consumption of bilberries (the blueberry?s close European cousin) and eye health, highlighting the berries? ability to improve night vision, halt cataract progression, and protect against glaucoma.6 New studies also support blueberries? ability to reduce age-associated lipid peroxidation,7 a contributor to cardiovascular disease, and to suppress the growth of several types of cancer cells,8,9 suggesting that blueberry phytochemicals may well play a future role in human cancer treatment. And you can add to the manifold health benefits of blueberries at least one more reason to eat them daily: virtually everyone agrees that they are delicious.

    When the Plymouth colonists arrived in what is now Massachusetts, native American inhabitants shared with them the blue-tinged fruit of a low woody shrub whose calyx forms a delicate five-point star. For centuries, native American cultures had consumed ?star berries? not only as food but also as medicine, drinking blueberry juice to relieve coughs, brewing a tea from blueberry leaves as a tonic, and eating fresh, dried berries to sharpen their vision.10

    Blueberries and bilberries belong to the genus Vaccinium, which includes more than 450 plants grown in all parts of the world. Members of the Vaccinium genus possessing the darkest-colored fruits appear to provide the greatest health benefits, a fact that scientists attribute to the compounds that give the plants their dark pigmentation. These bioflavonoids include anthocyanins and their precursor, proanthocyanidins, both of which are voracious scavengers of free radicals.11,12 Research demonstrates that blueberry consumption boosts serum antioxidant status in humans.13 Elevated antioxidant levels in the body may protect against damage to cells and cellular components, thus helping to reduce the risk of many chronic degenerative diseases.13

    How Blueberries Combat Brain Aging

    In Dr. Joseph?s groundbreaking work at Tufts, 19-month-old laboratory rats?the equivalent of 60- to 65-year-old humans?were fed dried blueberry extract at a dose the investigators calibrated to be the human equivalent of one-half cup of blueberries per day. Three other groups of rats received spinach extract, strawberry extract, or a control diet. After eight weeks on the regimen, the investigators evaluated the rats?now equivalent in age to 70- to 75-year-old humans?using various tests of memory function.

    Compared to a control group fed only a standardized diet, each of the three supplemented groups performed at least marginally better on memory and learning tests.14 In tests of neuromotor function, however, the blueberry-fed rats significantly outperformed the other groups. These rats were much better able to walk the length of a narrow rod and balance on an accelerating rotating rod compared to the other groups. This was indeed a stunning finding, as scientists have for some time tended to accept as established fact that age-related neuromotor dysfunction is irreversible. Dr. Joseph?s findings appear to flatly contradict this notion. Blueberry extract, he discovered, was clearly capable of reversing this particular aging process as no other agent had ever been demonstrated to do. Dr. Joseph concluded:

    ?This is the first study that has shown that dietary supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts that are high in phyto-nutrient antioxidants can actually reverse some of the aging-related neuronal/behavioral dysfunction.? 14

    Dr. Joseph?s blueberry-supplemented rats also demonstrated improved learning and memory skills as they navigated mazes and found?and then remembered?the location of an underwater platform on which they could rest from swimming. When Dr. Joseph and his colleagues examined the brain tissues of these rats in vitro, they found that dopamine levels were much higher than in the brains of rats in the other groups. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter that enables smooth, controlled movements as well as efficient memory, attention, and problem-solving function. Dr. Joseph speculated that blueberry extract might also increase brain cell membrane fluidity while reducing levels of inflammatory compounds, thus slowing the brain?s normal aging process.14

    To other researchers, Dr. Joseph?s study seemed especially promising in its implications for aging humans. Older adults tend to fall or stumble?sometimes with catastrophic consequences?because their brains become less adept at monitoring and modulating swaying motion, as conduction of neural signals in the brain slows with aging. Older people likewise tend to suffer memory loss and an inability to learn new behaviors in ways that can starkly limit their ability to lead productive, satisfying lives. ?People are told once you?re old, there?s nothing you can do,? noted Dr. Joseph?s colleague and study coauthor Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale. ?That might not be true.?15

    New Studies Confirm Brain Benefits

    Dr. Joseph?s findings not only spurred scientific research into the health properties of blueberries, but also greatly increased public awareness of this remarkable fruit. Five important new studies support and expand on Dr. Joseph?s original research.

    In a 2005 article published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, Rachel Galli and her colleagues, also based at Tufts, reported discovering a specific mechanism by which blueberries help reverse the neurological aging process.16 The Galli study?which included Drs. Joseph and Shukitt-Hale as co-investigators?sought to measure the heat-shock protein response in the brains of both young and aged rats supplemented with blueberry extract compared to a control group of aged rats. A protective mechanism produced in the brains of most animals (and humans), heat-shock proteins fight free radicals and inflammation-inducing agents, acting similarly to antioxidants to support healthy brain tissues. As people age, however, their ability to generate heat-shock proteins in sufficient quantity declines,17 sometimes dramatically. The Tufts researchers sought to determine whether blueberries could help restore the heat-shock protein response in rats.16

    After 10 weeks, the scientists subjected brain tissues from the rats to an inflammatory challenge and then measured the subsequent heat-shock protein response. As presumed, the brains of young rats that had consumed blueberries produced a strong heat-shock protein response, unlike the brains of the aged rats that did not consume blueberry extract. The significant finding, however, was that the brains of aged rats fed blueberries were as successful at initiating the heat-shock protein response as the brains of young rats. The blueberry extract proved capable of entirely restoring the heat-shock protein response in the test animals, suggesting that blueberries may protect against neurodegenerative processes associated with aging.16

    Last year, the journal Nutritional Neuroscience published an important new study by scientists at the University of Barcelona. The Spanish researchers previously had demonstrated blueberries? effectiveness in reversing age-related deficits in neuronal signaling. They now sought to determine whether the active phytochemicals that give blueberries their significant neurological benefits do indeed cross the blood-brain barrier. Examining the brains of rats that had been fed blueberry extract for 10 weeks, they were able to isolate blueberry-specific agents in the rats? cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus, and striatum?brain areas that control memory and learning processes. Most striking, the scientists were able to correlate the presence of blueberry phytochemicals in the rat brain cortices they examined with improved cognitive performance in tests initiated at the end of the 10-week supplementation period.18

    Blueberries may also prove capable of helping humans whose brains have been damaged by a loss of blood flow and the critical oxygen and nutrients it provides, a condition known as ischemia (one of the two principal causes of stroke). In a May 2005 study published in the journal Experimental Neurology, researchers documented how three groups of rats whose diets were supplemented with blueberries, spinach, and spirulina, respectively, all suffered less brain cell loss and were better able to recover lost function following artificially induced ischemia than rats in a non-supplemented control group. At autopsy, the scientists observed that the physical extent of ischemic damage to the brains of rats that had been fed the three supplements was significantly less than that suffered by the control group.19

    Similarly, the Tufts scientists who have been in the forefront of blueberry research reported an additional study in the August 2005 issue of Neurobiology of Aging. In this study, they demonstrated that the auditory processing speed of aged rats supplemented with blueberries nearly matched the lightning-fast auditory processing speeds of young rats, while the speeds of a control group of non-supplemented aged rats were dramatically slower. According to the researchers, ?These results suggest that the age-related changes in temporal processing speed in [the primary auditory cortex] may be reversed by dietary supplementation of blueberry phytochemicals.?20

    Another recent study suggests that blueberries may have applications in the developing field of neural transplants, which many neuroscientists believe hold promise as a means of replacing vital brain structures destroyed or damaged by brain injury or degenerative disease. Unfortunately, the survival of transplanted tissue is often poor, especially in older recipients. When researchers gave blueberry supplements to middle-aged rats receiving neural implants, the growth of their hippocampal grafts was markedly more vigorous than that of identical grafts in a control group, and cellular organization was comparable to that in tissue grafted into young laboratory animals. Blueberries may someday play an important role in ensuring that surgically grafted tissues thrive in the new host, where they may help to restore lost motor and cognitive functions.21

    Benefits for Other Body Systems

    Blueberries? benefits for neurological health and vigor are so well established as to make daily consumption of the fruit a ?no-brainer? for virtually everyone. Moreover, new studies continue to confirm blueberries? remarkable health-promoting effects in other areas of the human body.

    For decades, researchers in Europe have documented evidence of the ability of bilberries to combat a range of eye disorders. During World War II, French researchers who examined bilberry extract?s effects in pilots found that bilberry helped improve nighttime visual acuity, adjustment to darkness, and recovery from glare.6 In another study, all eight patients with glaucoma who were given a single oral dose of bilberry extract demonstrated improvements based on electroretinography, a measure of electrical responsiveness of the retinal cells. Bilberry?s antioxidant properties may protect against glaucoma by supporting healthy intraocular pressure.6 In a clinical study, the combination of bilberry extract with vitamin E stopped the formation of senile cortical cataracts in 48 of 50 patients.6 Researchers believe that the anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins found in blueberries might similarly offer benefits for eye health.

    In an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2004, researchers announced that they had isolated three compounds in blueberries and other dark-pigmented berries known to lower cholesterol levels.22 In a follow-up study, one of the three phytochemicals?pterostilbene?showed a particularly potent effect in stimulating a receptor protein in cells that plays an important role in lowering cholesterol and other blood fats.3 ?We are excited to learn that blueberries, which are already known to be rich in healthy compounds, may also be a potent weapon in the battle against obesity and heart disease,? lead author Agnes Rimando told members of the American Chemical Society.3,22,23

    Blueberry juice or extract may help avert urinary tract infections commonly suffered by women. Scientists formerly hypothesized that dark-pigmented berries such as cranberry help fight infection through an antibacterial effect caused by the acidification of urine.4 Current research suggests that berries, including cranberry and blueberry, may fight bacterial urinary infections by preventing E. coli and other forms of bacteria from adhering to cells lining the walls of the urinary tract.4,5

    Blueberries also may slow the growth of cancer cells. In 2001, University of Mississippi researchers conducting in-vitro tests found that blueberry and strawberry extracts were remarkably successful in slowing the growth of two aggressive cervical cancer cell lines and two fast-replicating breast cancer cell lines, with the blueberry extract performing best against the cervical cancer cells.8 Last year, a University of Georgia study similarly demonstrated blueberry extract?s ability to inhibit cell proliferation in two separate lines of colon cancer cells, reducing by more than 50% the rate at which the cells otherwise multiplied.9 Further studies are indicated to determine whether phytochemicals from dark-pigmented berries may affect very early growth of malignant cells in the bodies of humans as well.

    New research reported in peer-reviewed journals by scientists around the world confirms the wide range of health benefits attributed to blueberries, while pointing to promising new therapeutic applications:

    ? In a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience,24 a blueberry-supplemented diet was found to greatly enhance the spatial memory of laboratory animals. When later studied in vitro, the animals? brains demonstrated structural changes associated with an improved capacity for learning. Researchers believe the two findings are directly correlated.

    ? In a study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cold-pressed blueberry, Marionberry, boysenberry, and red raspberry seed oils were evaluated for their fatty acid composition. The oils were found to contain antioxidants with a high capacity to absorb oxygen radicals, and were deemed potent sources of tocopherols, carotenoids, and natural antioxidants.25

    ? The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that in an in-vitro study of aortic tissue of young rats, wild blueberries incorporated in the diet positively affect the plasticity of vascular smooth muscle, but have no deleterious effect on membrane sensitivity. This finding suggests that blueberries may have applications in helping prevent heart disease and stroke in humans.26

    ? In a similar study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers demonstrated that in rat aortic tissue, compounds from berry extracts caused cell changes that may affect cellular signal transduction pathways and contribute to improved cardiovascular health.27

    ? Research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that nutritional antioxidants found in blueberries can reverse age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction as well as cognitive and motor deficits. The investigators speculated that blueberry supplementation may also help slow declines in brain function that accompany diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer?s disease, and Parkinson?s disease.28

    ? In an in-vitro study published in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 24 hours of exposure to extracts of blueberry antioxidants sharply reduced the production of matrix metalloproteinases?enzymes believed to play key roles in malignant tissue metastasis?in human prostate cancer cells. This led the researchers to postulate that blueberry supplementation may help prevent tumor metastasis.29


    Although no studies to date have compared the relative efficacy of fresh blueberries versus frozen berries, canned berries, or berry extracts, each form of the fruit has been shown to contain the essential anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins that make blueberries one of the most exciting nutraceuticals being researched and consumed today. Blueberry extracts have the advantage of delivering the fruit?s phytochemicals in a simple, standardized dose, while consuming blueberries as food offers the benefit of flavor.

    Regardless of how they are consumed, blueberries should be considered a mainstay of every healthy diet. This remarkable fruit, known for centuries for its medicinal properties, continues to prove itself in research laboratories around the world, demonstrating a wide array of dramatic, health-enhancing benefits.

    1. Underwood A. So berry good for you; rediscovering the health benefits of berries. Newsweek. June 17, 2002.

    2. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM et al. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37.

    3. Rimando AM, Nagmani R, Feller DR, Yokoyama W. Pterostilbene, a new agonist for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha-isoform, lowers plasma lipoproteins and cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 4;53(9):3403-7.

    4. Zafriri D, Ofek I, Adar R, Pocino M, Sharon N. Inhibitory activity of cranberry juice on adherence of type 1 and type P fimbriated Escherichia coli to eucaryotic cells. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1989 Jan;33(1):92-8.

    5. Ofek I, Goldhar J, Zafriri D, et al. Anti-Escherichia coli adhesin activity of cranberry and blueberry juices. N Engl J Med. 1991 May 30;324(22):1599.

    6. No authors. Monograph. Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry). Altern Med Rev. 2001 Oct;6(5):500-4.

    7. Faria A, Oliveira J, Neves P, et al. Antioxidant properties of prepared blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extracts. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Aug 24;53(17):6896-902.

    8. Wedge DE, Meepagala KM, Magee JB, et al. Anticarcinogenic Activity of Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry Extracts to Breast and Cervical Cancer Cells. J Med Food. 2001;4(1):49-51.

    9. Yi W, Fischer J, Krewer G, Akoh CC. Phenolic compounds from blueberries can inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Sep 7;53(18):7320-9.

    10. Available at: Accessed November 16, 2005.

    11. Bagchi D, Garg A, Krohn RL, et al. Protective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins and selected antioxidants against TPA-induced hepatic and brain lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and peritoneal macrophage activation in mice. Gen Pharmacol. 1998 May;30(5):771-6.

    12. Cao G, Shukitt-Hale B, Bickford PC, et al. Hyperoxia-induced changes in antioxidant capacity and the effect of dietary antioxidants. J Appl Physiol. 1999 Jun;86(6):1817-22.

    13. Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):389-98.

    14. Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Denisova NA, et al. Reversals of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation. J Neurosci. 1999 Sep 15;19(18):8114-21.

    15. Brasher P. Blueberries may aid balance, memory. Associated Press. September 17, 1999.

    16. Galli RL, Bielinski DF, Szprengiel A, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Blueberry supplemented diet reverses age-related decline in hippocampal HSP70 neuroprotection. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Apr 30.

    17. Proctor CJ, Soti C, Boys RJ, et al. Modelling the actions of chaperones and their role in aging. Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Jan;126(1):119-31.

    18. Andres-Lacueva C, Shukitt-Hale B, Galli RL, et al. Anthocyanins in aged blueberry-fed rats are found centrally and may enhance memory. Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Apr;8(2):111-20.

    19. Wang Y, Chang CF, Chou J, et al. Dietary supplementation with blueberries, spinach, or spirulina reduces ischemic brain damage. Exp Neurol. 2005 May;193(1):75-84.

    20. de RC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA, Mendelson JR. The effects of antioxidants in the senescent auditory cortex. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Jun 9.

    21. Willis L, Bickford P, Zaman V, Moore A, Granholm AC. Blueberry extract enhances survival of intraocular hippocampal transplants. Cell Transplant. 2005;14(4):213-23.

    22. Rimando AM, Kalt W, Magee JB, Dewey J, Ballington JR. Resveratrol, pterostilbene, and piceatannol in vaccinium berries. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jul 28;52(15):4713-9.

    23. Available at: news.php?cat=-1&archived=1. Accessed November 25, 2005.

    24. Casadesus G, Shukitt-Hale B, Stellwagen HM, et al. Modulation of hippocampal plasticity and cognitive behavior by short-term blueberry supplementation in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Oct-Dec;7(5-6):309-16.

    25. Parry J, Su L, Luther M, Zhou K, et al. Fatty acid composition and antioxidant properties of cold-pressed marionberry, boysenberry, red raspberry, and blueberry seed oils. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 9;53(3):566-73.

    26. Norton C, Kalea AZ, Harris PD, Klimis-Zacas DJ. Wild blueberry-rich diets affect the contractile machinery of the vascular smooth muscle in the Sprague-Dawley rat. J Med Food. 2005;8(1):8-13.

    27. Kalea AZ, Lamari FN, Theocharis AD, et al. Wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption affects the composition and structure of glycosaminoglycans in Sprague-Dawley rat aorta. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Aug 17.

    28. Lau FC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. The beneficial effects of fruit polyphenols on brain aging. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Sep 26.

    29. Matchett MD, Mackinnon SL, Sweeney MI, Gottschall-Pass KT, Hurta RA. Blueberry flavonoids inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activity in DU145 human prostate cancer cells. Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Oct;83(5):637-43.


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  • Jonesie

    Blueberries May Restore Some Memory, Coordination and Balance Lost with Age

    By Judy McBride
    September 10, 1999
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 10--A diet rich in blueberry extract reversed some loss of balance and coordination and improved short-term memory in aging rats, according to a USDA study to be published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

    ?If this finding holds for humans, it should further encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants to help fight the effects of aging,? said Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.

    Daily for eight weeks, researchers fed extracts of blueberry, strawberry or spinach to 19 month-old rats, age-equivalent to 65 or 70 year-old humans. All three extracts improved short-term memory. Only the blueberry extract improved balance and coordination.

    This is the first study that shows fruits and vegetables actually reversing dysfunctions in behavior and in nerve cells. Earlier, the same researchers, led by neuroscientist James A. Joseph of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, reported that high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables prevented some loss of function in aging rats.

    Blueberries, strawberries, and spinach test high in their ability to subdue oxygen free radicals. These oxygen radicals, which can damage cell membranes, DNA and other delicate internal machinery, are blamed for many of the dysfunctions and diseases associated with aging.

    ?Motor behavior is one of the first things to go as you age,? said Joseph. ?The improvements we saw in coordination and balance are really significant. In other studies, little else has reversed these deficits in motor function.?

    A decline in motor skills starts at about 12 months for rats. By 19 months, the length of time rats can walk a narrow rod before losing balance normally drops from 13 to 5 seconds. After eating blueberry extract, the rats stayed on the rod for 11 seconds, on average.

    Joseph and psychologist Barbara Shukitt-Hale were joined in the study by Natalia Denisova, Donna Bielinski, Antonio Martin and John McEwen, all at the USDA center in Boston, and Paula Bickford at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver.

    Scientific contact: James A. Joseph and Barbara Shukitt-Hale, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, phone (617) 556-3178 [Joseph], (617) 556-3118, [Shukitt-Hale],,

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  • Jonesie

    Berries for the Brain
    November 13, 2006 - 10:30am

    "There Must be 20 Ways to Grow Your Memory!"

    Maryland Community Gardener Sharon Gordon recently sent me a USDA news release about a study that suggests blueberries and strawberries can hold off age-related memory decline, which made me wonder just how many plants we gardeners can grow that might have memory improving and/or dementia preventing powers.

    The answer turns out to be twenty - with those blueberries at the top of the list.


    Researcher James Joseph, Ph.D., Director of Neuroscience at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, explains that blueberries are "packed with antioxidants that have direct positive effects on the brain. "If I could only pick one food to eat to keep my brain healthy, I would have to pick blueberries," says Dr. Joseph; "they are the gold standard." He says he buys them frozen when they're out of season, so that "I can eat my berries every day.

    "We used to think that you were born with a certain number of brain cells, and no new ones were ever created, " he told me recently, "but now we know that the brain can make new cells, and studies have shown that eating blueberries-a pint a day is the amount most often recommended-really increases this 'proliferation'.

    "Blueberries also increase the survival rate of these new cells, and reduce the effects of stress on existing cells, " he explains. So blueberries build better brains three different ways!

    And they're very easy to grow. Buy the biggest plants you can find, and plant them in a mixture of peat moss and compost; they love growing in a naturally rich, acidic soil.

    MANY other berries also fit the bill!

    Next in line, says Dr. Joseph (whose most recent book, "The Color Code; a revolutionary eating plan for optimum health" from Hyperion Press, details the benefits of eating fruits and veggies of many colors), are "strawberries, cranberries, purple grapes like Concord, sweet and tart cherries, blackberries and raspberries.

    "There are no bad berries", he adds; "if you look at a chart showing the antioxidant content of foods, you'll find berries of all kind clustered at the top." And lucky for us, all but cranberries are very easy to grow in the average garden!

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  • Jonesie

    The degradation of anthocyanins in canned strawberries

    I. The effect of various processing parameters on the retention of pelargonidin-3-glucoside

    J. B. ADAMS and M. H. ONGLEY
    Campden Food Preservation Research Association, Chipping Campden, Glos.


    The effect of various processing parameters on the retention of pelargonidin-3-glucoside in canned strawberries (cv. Senga Sengana) was investigated by chromatographic analysis of the anthocyanin on columns of insoluble polyvinylpyrrolidone resin. It was shown that normal commercial exhaust and sterilization procedures have little effect on the degradation of pelargonidin-3-glucoside, most of which takes place during storage of the canned product. High storage temperatures were shown to increase the rate at which the anthocyanin breaks down, but good retention of the pigment was obtained by storing the cans of strawberries at 0?5?C.

    It was found that omitting the heat process did not increase the stability of pelargonidin-3-glucoside during the storage of canned strawberries.


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  • Jonesie


    Southern Plains Little Rock
    Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center


    Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

    Compositional Changes in Anthocyanins, Flavonols, and Ellagitannins in Processed Blackberries


    Prior, Ronald

    Submitted to: Food Science Conference Proceedings
    Publication Type: Abstract
    Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 2006
    Publication Date: June 23, 2006
    Citation: Hager, T., Howard, L., Prior, R.L. 2006. Compositional changes in anthocyanins, flavonols, and ellagitannins in processed blackberries. Institute of Food Technology Annual Meeting, June 24-28, 2006, Orlando, Florida. Paper No. 039G-28.

    Interpretive Summary: Consumption of polyphenolic- and antioxidant-rich fruit may play an important role in the protection against chronic diseases due to their ability to prevent oxidative damage initiated by free radicals. Fresh blackberries contain high levels of polyphenolics, but the changes in polyphenolic composition and content of the fruit that occur during processing have not been thoroughly investigated. The objective of this research was to determine how different preservation methods influence the polyphenolic composition and content of blackberries. Increases in polyphenolics in blackberries were observed in processed products, which were likely due to concentration during processing. This research indicates that blackberry purees, juices, and canned samples have considerably higher levels of polyphenolics than fresh berries. Since the processed products are readily available year-round, they represent important dietary sources of dietary antioxidant compounds.

    Technical Abstract: Consumption of polyphenolic- and antioxidant-rich fruit may play an important role in the protection against chronic diseases due to their ability to prevent oxidative damage initiated by free radicals. Fresh blackberries contain high levels of polyphenolics, but the changes in polyphenolic composition and content of the fruit that occur during processing have not been thoroughly investigated. The objective of this research was to determine how different preservation methods influence the anthocyanin, flavonol, and ellagitannin composition and content of blackberries. Blackberries (cultivar Apache) were evaluated as fresh, canned in water, canned in syrup (40 brix), purees (18 brix), clarified (by centrifugation) and non-clarified juices. After one month of storage, processed samples were evaluated by reverse-phase HPLC for anthocyanins, flavonols, and ellagitannins. Individual compounds within each class of phenolics were identified and quantified. There were no differences in polyphenolic composition and content among clarified and non-clarified juices; however, the juices had 45-59% higher flavonols, 21-27% higher anthocyanins, and 50% lower ellagitannins than the fresh berries. The ellagitannin losses were attributed to seed removal during the juicing process. Compared to fresh berries, purees had 23% and 42% higher anthocyanins and ellagitannins, respectively. Fresh berries and purees had similar levels of flavonols. Canned berries (in water and syrup) had 20-24% higher anthocyanins, and 47-54% higher ellagitannins compared to fresh berries, but only canned-in-water berries had higher levels of flavonols (36% increase). The apparent increases in polyphenolics observed in processed products were likely due to concentration during processing. This research indicates that blackberry purees, juices, and canned samples have considerably higher levels of polyphenolics than fresh berries. Since the processed products are readily available year-round, they represent important dietary sources of antioxidant compounds.

    Project Team

    Upchurch, Dan
    Prior, Ronald - Ron

    Last Modified: 09/15/2007

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  • Jonesie


    Protection against Macular Degeneration

    Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

    In this study, which involved over 110,000 women and men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARMD, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but strawberries can help you reach this goal. Top your morning cereal, lunch time yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh strawberries. Dress up any green salad with sliced strawberries, slivered almonds and a splash of balsamic vinegar. For an easy, elegant dessert, blend fresh or frozen strawberries with a spoonful of honey and some soy or cow's milk or yogurt. Freeze for 20 minutes, then spoon into serving cups and decorate with a sprig of mint.


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  • Jonesie

    Recent research

    Richly concentrated as pigments in berries, anthocyanins were the topics of research presented at a 2007 symposium on health benefits that may result from berry consumption[2]. Scientists provided laboratory evidence for potential health effects against

    • cancer
    • aging and neurological diseases
    • inflammation
    • diabetes
    • bacterial infections

    Cancer research on anthocyanins is the most advanced, where black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer of the rat esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%. Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, black raspberries are a practical research tool and a promising therapeutic source, as they contain the richest contents of anthocyanins among native North American berries[3].

    Work on laboratory cancer models has shown that black raspberry anthocyanins inhibit promotion and progression of tumor cells by

    1. stalling growth of pre-malignant cells
    2. accelerating the rate of cell turnover, called apoptosis, effectively making the cancer cells die faster
    3. reducing inflammatory mediators that initiate tumor onset
    4. inhibiting growth of new blood vessels that nourish tumors, a process called angiogenesis
    5. minimizing cancer-induced DNA damage.

    On a molecular level, berry anthocyanins were shown to turn off genes involved with proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and angiogenesis. In 2007, black raspberry studies entered the next pivotal level of research ? the human clinical trial ? for which several approved studies are underway to examine anti-cancer effects of black raspberries and cranberries on tumors in the esophagus, prostate and colon[4].

    In December 2004 a peer-reviewed study at Michigan State University published by the American Chemical Society noted that anthocyanins could boost insulin production by up to 50%. However the study leader noted that despite the initial excitement, more study would be needed. Also in 2005, an article published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology demonstrated for the first time the biosynthesis of anthocyanins in bacteria [5].

    In 2007 a study at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that anthocyanins kills human cancer cells while not affecting healthy cells. At low doses of cyanidin-3-rutinoside (C-3-R), half of the cancer cells in all lines of the test human leukemia and lymphoma cells died witin 18 hours. When the amount of C-3-R was more than doubled, all of the cancer cells died within 18 hours. The mechanism seems to be that cancereous cells respond to C-3-R by releasing peroxides which kill the cancer cells. Normal cells do not release peroxides when C-3-R is administered. [6]

    ^ Kong J. M., Chia L. S., Goh N. K., Chia T. F., Brouillard R. (2003). "Analysis and biological activities of anthocyanins.". Phytochemistry 64 (5): 923-33. DOI:10.1016/S0031-9422(03)00438-2.
    ^ Gross PM (2007). Scientists zero in on health benefits of berry pigments. Natural Products Information Center. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
    ^ Wada L, Ou B (2002). Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Oregon caneberries.. J Agric Food Chem. Jun 5;50(12):3495-500.. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
    ^ Stoner GD, Wang LS, Zikri N, Chen T, Hecht SS, Huang C, Sardo C, Lechner JF (2007). Cancer prevention with freeze-dried berries and berry components.. 1: Semin Cancer Biol. May 10; [Epub ahead of print]. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
    ^ Metabolic engineering of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Escherichia coli..
    ^ Fighting cancer by the bramble.
    Andersen, O.M. Flavonoids: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Applications. CRC Press, Boca Raton FL 2006.
    G. M. Robinson, Robert Robinson (1931). "A survey of anthocyanins. I". Biochem J. 25 (5): 1687?1705.

    External links
    • Anthocyanin Biosynthesis
    • Red leaves - Catalyst ABC
    • Super Blackcurrants With Boosted Vitamin C
    • Quantification of anthocyanins in commercial black currant juices by simple high-performance liquid chromatography. Investigation of their pH stability and antioxidative potency.
    • Chemicals Found in Cherries May Help Fight Diabetes
    • Biochemicals found in dark raspberries may help fight Diabetes and Cancer (in German)
    • A discussion of the role of anthocyanins in hydrangea coloration
    • Anthocyanins FAQ MadSci Network Functions and uses as pH indicators or for pigment chromatography.

    ?When the water of a place is bad it is safest to drink none that has not been filtered through either the berry of a grape,
    or else a tub of malt. These are the most reliable filters yet invented.?
    ~ Samuel Butler (English novelist, essayist and critic, 1835-1902) ~

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  • Jonesie

    Cherries and arthritis

    If you?ve got arthritis, summer?s plump, fresh, delicious cherries may be especially good for you.

    Researchers from Michigan State University found anthocyanins, the same chemicals that give tart cherries their color, may have more powerful anti-inflammatory effects than aspirin. It's still unknown whether this might translate into pain relief for arthritis patients in the real world.

    Dr. Muralee Nair, associate professor with the Bioactive Natural Products Laboratory in the Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center at MSU, isolated various components of tart cherries. He was aided in this research by Dr. Gale Strasburg, MSU associate professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Dr. Strasburg developed a technique to rapidly assess the antioxidant activity of the purified components. Other techniques to detect antioxidant activity are time consuming. Dr. Strasburg's technique condenses the process to a few minutes. Dr. Nair used frozen tart cherries blended with water to isolate the compounds. Then Dr. Strasburg tested the compounds to find out whether they showed promising antioxidant activity.

    They discovered that a number of the tart cherry compounds analyzed by Dr. Strasburg's method had excellent antioxidant properties. "This was the first time that we knew these compounds had antioxidant properties," says Dr. Nair. "The antioxidant activity of the tart cherry compounds, under our evaluation systems, is superior when compared to vitamin E, vitamin C and some synthetic antioxidants." In particular, there are three anthocyanins associated with the bright red color of tart cherries that are excellent antioxidants. However, as many as 14 other compounds in tart cherries also have antioxidant activity. During the next year, the MSU researchers plan to investigate what levels of tart cherry consumption are needed to obtain beneficial antioxidant effects.

    Antioxidants are believed to inhibit the cycling of highly reactive compounds, called free radicals, which occur in normal human metabolism. However, in certain circumstances, these compounds may be factors in diseases, especially cancer. Consumer concerns about synthetic food additives have fueled interest in the identification and use of naturally occurring antioxidants to replace the synthetic ones. "Based on the combined research at MSU, we hypothesize that tart cherries are a rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants, which could be effective replacements for synthetic antioxidants in foods," says Dr. Strasburg.

    "Twenty cherries provide 25 milligrams of anthocyanins, which help to shut down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation in the first place, so cherries can prevent and treat many kinds of pain," says Muraleedharan Nair, the lead researcher on the cherry project at Michigan State University. The anthocyanins also may protect artery walls from the damage that leads to plaque build up and heart disease. In fact, the latest research shows that anthocyanins do a better job of protecting arteries than vitamins C and E.

    The current research on the health benefits of cherries began with a study conducted by Dr. Alden Booren, professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at MSU, in 1994. He investigated the use of cherries in very lean ground beef. "Our trained taste testers found the cherry-beef mixtures to be very desirable and had equal to or better flavor than those from lean ground beef," says Dr. Booren. "We also found that reheated ground beef with cherries was essentially devoid of oxidized or rancid flavors." Dr. Booren and other researchers suspected that it was the antioxidant properties of tart cherries that were responsible for these effects, which lead to the current research projects.

    Dr. Won Song, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at MSU and a registered dietitian, reviewed all of the previously published literature on the health benefits of cherries. She was amazed at the number of references in consumer publications. "There is even anecdotal information on the Internet," says Dr. Song. "While I found no scientific research to support the anecdotal information in these publications, we have learned enough that I believe there is a potential scientific connection that can be tested and proven." Dr. Song believes that tart cherries in some way modify enzyme and/or chemical activity in the body. She would like to pursue this idea with clinical studies in the near future.

    Research cited above by the Cherry Marketing Institute is from research conducted by the National Safety and Toxicology Center at Michigan State University;

    Wang, H. et al. 1999 Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Anthocyanins and their Alglycon, Cyanid, from Tart Cherries. Journal of Natural Products 62(2): 294-296.

    In this study (Journal of Natural Products, 1999), researchers used the equivalent of 20 tart cherries. They found anthocyanins in the tart cherries inhibited two enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, that play a role in the body's production of prostaglandins, natural chemicals involved in inflammation. This process to block inflammation is similar to the effects of aspirin and traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Tart cherries are also good sources of antioxidants, substances which destroy the damaging molecules thought to contribute to many diseases, including arthritis.

    Other fruits, berries, and vegetables may contain substantial amounts of similar substances as well. According to lead researcher Muralee Nair, Ph.D., both cherries and blueberries, for example, contain potent antioxidants. However, Nair found that the inflammation-blocking activity of tart cherries was considerably greater. It's still unknown how sweet cherries would stack up.

    One caveat is research in humans has not yet been done to determine whether cherries will actually relieve arthritis symptoms outside the lab. "The Arthritis Foundation does not see any harm in eating cherries for antioxidant protection, but does not believe there is enough proven clinical evidence to suggest that eating cherries is beneficial for reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis," says John Klippel, M.D., the foundation's medical director.

    If you still want to give tart cherries a try, there is also the question of how to consume them. The raw cherries are tart and cooking destroys many of the beneficial compounds. So, eating a slice of cherry pie won't do. Other options are tart cherry juice and tart cherry concentrate, both of which are sold at supermarkets and health food stores. According to the Cherry Marketing Institute, an 8-ounce glass of cherry juice contains the equivalent of about 100 cherries. Once again, though, some beneficial compounds can be lost during processing. Says Nair, "If the juice has been heated too much, there will be less anthocyanins in it." The juice is also acidic, so people with a sensitive stomach may not be able to tolerate it.

    According to even more recent research at Michigan State University, tart cherries are an excellent source of compounds with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-oxidants are generally recognized as useful in preventing cancer and other diseases. The anti-oxidant activity of the tart cherry compounds, under the MSU evaluation system, is superior when compared to vitamin E, vitamin C and some synthetic anti-oxidants.

    Tart cherries contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds. In laboratory tests, MSU research indicates that tart cherry compounds are at least 10 times more active than aspirin. The advantage of tart cherries is that they are more effective without any of the adverse side effects of aspirin.

    In addition, other research has revealed that the production of a hormone (prostaglandin) is the cause of joint pain. The production of this hormone is directly related to two enzymes. The tart cherry anti-inflammatory compounds are suspected to have the ability to inhibit the enzymes that ultimately cause joint pain."

    This research, which is still ongoing, substantiates what some consumers have believed for years -- that tart cherries have important health benefits. There are numerous references in consumer publications, such as newspapers, magazines, books and even Web sites, that link cherries to beneficial health effects. In addition, a recent survey of cherry growers (see below) shows that they have a lower incidence of cancer and heart conditions than the general public. The growers, on average, eat about six pounds of tart cherries per year, while other Americans eat about one pound of tart cherries annually.

    Recently published research conducted at Michigan State University investigated a range of fruits and berries for the level and activity of anthocyanins found in each.

    Researchers analyzed the ability of the fruits to inhibit cyclooxygenase and act as antioxidants to destroy free radicals. The researchers then quantified the anthocyanin levels of tart and sweet cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries and bilberries.

    Cyclooxygenase is produced in the body in two or more forms, termed COX-1 and COX-2, for different purposes. COX-1 is built in many different cells to create prostaglandins, which are used for basic ?housekeeping? messages throughout the body. The second enzyme, COX-2, is built only in special cells and is used for signaling pain and inflammation.

    Some pain relief medication works by blocking the messages carried by COX-1, COX-2, or both, and thus the body does not feel pain or inflammation. The anthocyanins that are able to block COX-1 and COX-2 are called Anthocyanins 1 and 2, respectively.

    Researchers discovered that the antioxidant activity of anthocyanins from cherries was superior to vitamin E at a test concentration of 125 ?g/ml. The COX inhibitory activities of anthocyanins from cherries were comparable to those of ibuprofen and naproxen at 10 ?M concentrations.

    Anthocyanins 1 and 2 are present in both cherries and raspberries. The yields of pure Anthocyanins 1 and 2 in 100 g of cherries and raspberries were the highest of the fruits tested at 26.5 and 24 mg, respectively.

    Fresh blackberries and strawberries contained only Anthocyanin 2 at a total level of 22.5 and 18.2 mg/100 g, respectively; whereas Anthocyanins 1 and 2 were not found in bilberries, blueberries, cranberries or elderberries.

    Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries.

    2001 Sept; Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.

    Anthocyanins from tart cherries, Prunus cerasus L. (Rosaceae) cv. Balaton and Montmorency; sweet cherries, Prunus avium L. (Rosaceae); bilberries, Vaccinum myrtillus L. (Ericaceae); blackberries, Rubus sp. (Rosaceae); blueberries var. Jersey, Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericaceae); cranberries var. Early Black, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. (Ericaceae); elderberries, Sambucus canadensis (Caprifoliaceae); raspberries, Rubus idaeus (Rosaceae); and strawberries var. Honeoye, Fragaria x ananassa Duch. (Rosaceae), were investigated for cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The presence and levels of cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside 1 and cyanidin-3-rutinoside 2 were determined in the fruits using HPLC.

    The antioxidant activity of anthocyanins from cherries was comparable to the commercial antioxidants, tert-butylhydroquinone, butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole, and superior to vitamin E, at a test concentration of 125 microg/ml.

    Anthocyanins from raspberries and sweet cherries demonstrated 45% and 47% cyclooxygenase-I and cyclooxygenase-II inhibitory activities, respectively, when assayed at 125 microg/ml. The cyclooxygenase inhibitory activities of anthocyanins from these fruits were comparable to those of ibuprofen and naproxen at 10 microM concentrations.

    Anthocyanins 1 and 2 are present in both cherries and raspberry. The yields of pure anthocyanins 1 and 2 in 100 g Balaton and Montmorency tart cherries, sweet cherries and raspberries were 21, 16.5; 11, 5; 4.95, 21; and 4.65, 13.5 mg, respectively.

    Fresh blackberries and strawberries contained only anthocyanin 2 in yields of 24 and 22.5 mg/100 g, respectively. Anthocyanins 1 and 2 were not found in bilberries, blueberries, cranberries or elderberries.

    Degradation products of cyanidin glycosides from tart cherries and their bioactivities.

    2001 Oct.; Seeram NP, Bourquin LD, Nair MG. Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals, Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.

    The bioactive anthocyanins present in tart cherries, Prunus cerasus L. (Rosaceae) cv. Balaton, are cyanidin 3-glucosylrutinoside (1), cyanidin 3-rutinoside (2), and cyanidin 3-glucoside (3). Cyanidin (4) is the major anthocyanidin in tart cherries. In our continued evaluation of the in vivo and in vitro efficacy of these anthocyanins to prevent inflammation and colon cancer, we have added these compounds to McCoy's 5A medium in an effort to identify their degradation products during in vitro cell culture studies. This resulted in the isolation and characterization of protocatechuic acid (5), the predominant degradation product. In addition, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (6) and 2,4,6-trihydroxybenzoic acid (7) were identified as degradation products. However, these degradation products were not quantified.

    Compounds 5-7 were also identified as degradation products when anthocyanins were subjected to varying pH and thermal conditions. In cyclooxygenase (COX)-I and -II enzyme inhibitory assays, compounds 5-7 did not show significant activities when compared to the NSAIDs Naproxen, Celebrex, and Vioxx, or Ibuprofen, at 50 microM concentrations. However, at a test concentration of 50 microM, the antioxidant activity of protocatechuic acid (5) was comparable to those of the commercial antioxidants tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and superior to that of vitamin E at 10 microM concentrations


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  • Jonesie

    Strawberries most effective at inducing cancer cell death

    Medical Studies/Trials
    Published: Wednesday, 10-Aug-2005

    Strawberries may be the most effective of the five most commonly consumed berries at inducing cancer cell death, according to a recent study conducted at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. The center recently tested extracts of six berries -- strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries -- to determine their ability to induce apoptosis, a process that enhances the death of cancer cells.

    In one phase of the study, all of the berry extracts exhibited anti-proliferative effects and did so in a dose-dependent manner. The strongest strawberry effects were seen against two types of oral cancer cells and one type of colon cancer cells. A second phase of the experiment measured their ability to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) against a cyclooxygenase (COX)-II expressing enzyme colon cancer cell. The results showed that the berries were potent inducers of apoptosis in the human colon cancer cells.

    Navindra Seeram, Ph.D., presented the findings of this study at the International Berry Health Benefits Symposium, June 13-14, 2005.

    Strawberries account for 75% of the fresh berry volume sold at retail, followed by blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries, in descending order. Strawberries and other berries contain high levels of the phytochemicals that are believed to be responsible for the protective effects of diets high in fruits and vegetables against chronic illnesses such as cancer, inflammation, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

    The investigators concluded that more in vivo studies are warranted to investigate the impact of berry phytochemicals on human health.


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  • Jonesie

    CSC -- May 4, 2007

    A Healthy Heart Means A Healthier Brain - Strawberries Are Among Foods That Benefit Both Organs

    Watsonville, CA ? As nutritionist Joy Bauer said on NBC?s Today Show recently, ?The plain truth is that a healthy heart makes for a healthy brain.?

    ?Because oxygen and nutrients are carried in the bloodstream, anything that impedes blood-flow will starve those all-important brain cells,? Bauer says.

    Strawberries are rich in an array of nutrients that may play important roles in heart and brain disease prevention, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, and flavonoids such as anthocyanins, the natural pigments responsible for the red color of strawberries, quercetin and ellagic acid.

    Research indicates that consumption of strawberries not only increases blood levels of these nutrients but also lowers markers of cardiovascular disease levels and blood pressure. In an analysis of data from large dietary studies in the U.S., strawberry eaters had higher levels of folate, fiber and vitamin C and lower blood pressure than non-strawberry eaters.

    Dr. Jim Joseph, Director of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University in Boston, explains more about how strawberries promote heart and brain health. ?Strawberries have good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities and since most cardio-vascular problems involve inflammation and oxidation, strawberries can protect you from their effects. They cut off the signal to free radicals and cut off the production of substances that can be toxic. In the brain, they help neurons work better and help with motor function and memory.?

    Last fall at the Alzheimer?s Association International Conference on Prevention of Dementia, scientists said that eating delicious foods such as strawberries and other berries have a positive effect on protecting the brain because they are rich sources of important nutrients.

    I found canned strawberries in glass jars at an import store. Since truckers may not be able to deliver fresh strawberries cross-country in a pandemic, you may wish to add them to your preps now. (19 0z. for $2.69. Product of Bulgaria. No sugar added.)
    If you plan on growing strawberries, be sure to buy some netting from a fabric store to cover the plants . Robins and ants love ripe stawberries.

    "One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.?
    ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832) ~

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  • Jonesie

    Here is another source of cherry products:

    They have more info on cherry/berry testing, recipes, and informative charts.

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  • Amish Country

    Trader Joe's also sells Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries. The dried cherries come in 8 oz. (227g) packages. They are great in mock chicken salad made with seitan.

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  • fretti

    Originally posted by Jonesie View Post
    ...Trader Joe's also sells Montmorency cherries with juice and other cherry juices.
    I've used the 100% wild blueberry juice from Trader Joe's to successfully stop a mild asthma attack. I use 1-2 ounces straight - but be prepared for the tart taste. The cost is about $5.00 per quart so it's not something I use without reason.

    I've purchased from several times. Quick service, great product, and good value. I also recommend it.

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  • unpathedhaunt

    Thank you so much!

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  • Jonesie

    Originally posted by unpathedhaunt View Post
    THANKS for the information. Anyone know a good website to buy the tart berries or juice?
    R.W. Knudsen lists a few online suppliers:

    I buy their products from Meijer stores. Their "Just Black Cherry" is 100% juice, no additives. It is sweet.
    They also sell a tart cherry juice..
    Trader Joe's also sells Montmorency cherries with juice and other cherry juices.

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