Benefits of Blueberries
Nutrients and phytochemicals
Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins,
other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases, including
inflammation and certain cancers.
on the potential anti-disease effects of blueberries
have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development and inflammation in vitro. Similar to red grape, some blueberry species
contain in their skins significant levels of resveratrol, a phytochemical.
Although most studies below were conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), content of
polyphenol antioxidants and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush
At a 2007 symposium on berry health
benefits were reports showing consumption of blueberries (and similar berry fruits including cranberries) may alleviate
the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions of aging.
A chemical isolated from blueberry leaves can block replication
of the hepatitis C virus and might help to delay disease spread in infected individuals.
Feeding blueberries to animals lowers brain damage in experimental stroke. Research at Rutgers
has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
Other animal studies found that blueberry consumption lowered cholesterol and
total blood lipid levels,
possibly affecting symptoms of heart disease.
Additional research showed that blueberry consumption in rats altered glycosaminoglycans which are vascular cell components
affecting control of blood pressure.
A study soon to be published in the Journal
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that supplementation with wild blueberry juice enhanced memory and learning
in older adults, while reducing blood sugar and symptoms of depression.
Marketing of Blueberries as a Superfood (Anti-Oxidant Properties) Based on the promising research discussed above, magazines and newspapers
have recently begun to hail blueberries as a superfood. Example: an article in the July 2010 issue of Chatelaine magazine
mentions the blueberry as a food that can increase the body's natural ability to heal.