Blueberry Supplementation in Midlife for Dementia Risk Reduction

Robert Krikorian, Matthew R. Skelton, Suzanne S. Summer, Marcelle D. Shidler, Patrick G. Sullivan
Nutrients. 2022 Apr 13; 14(8):1619

Abstract: Late-life dementia typically develops over a period of many years beginning in midlife. Prevalence of metabolic disturbance also accelerates in middle age and is a prominent risk factor for dementia. Preliminary studies indicate that blueberry supplementation can improve cognitive performance and influence metabolism and brain function and therefore may have a role in early intervention to prevent neurodegeneration. In a randomized controlled trial, we investigated the effects of daily blueberry supplementation in a middle-aged sample of insulin-resistant participants with elevated risk for future dementia. We enrolled overweight men and women, aged 50 to 65 years, with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and performed pre- and post-intervention assessments of cognition and metabolism and exploratory measures of peripheral mitochondrial function. We observed improved performances for the blueberry group on measures of lexical access, p = 0.003, and memory interference, p = 0.04, and blueberry-treated participants reported reduced memory encoding difficulty in daily life activities, p = 0.03. The blueberry-treated group also exhibited correction of peripheral hyperinsulinemia, p = 0.04, and a modest trend for increased mitochondrial uncoupling, p = 0.11. The cognitive findings indicated improved executive ability in this middle-aged sample. In addition, the changes in metabolic and bioenergetic measures imply potential mechanistic factors associated with anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin actions. The demonstration of these benefits in middle-aged individuals with insulin resistance and SCD suggests that ongoing blueberry supplementation may contribute to protection against cognitive decline when implemented early in at-risk individuals.

Latest Brain Function


Blueberry Supplementation Effects on Neuronal and Pathological Biomarkers in Subjects at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Pilot Study

P M Doraiswamy, M G Miller, C A Hellegers, A Nwosu, J Choe, D M Murdoch
Read More

Blueberry phenolics are associated with cognitive enhancement in supplemented healthy older adults

Rutledge GA, Sandhu AK, Miller MG, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman BB, Shukitt-Hale B.
Food Funct. 2021 Jan 7;12(1):107-118.
Read More

Cognitive performance in relation to urinary anthocyanins and their flavonoid-based products following blueberry supplementation in older adults at risk for dementia.

Krikorian R, Kalt W, McDonald JE, Shidler MD, Summer SS, Stein AL.
Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 64, 2020, 103667, ISSN 1756-4646.
Read More