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Title: Effects of dietary blueberry supplementation on older adults

item MILLER, MARSHALL - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item JOSEPH, JAMES - Former ARS Employee
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: American Aging Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2014
Publication Date: 5/30/2014
Citation: Miller, M.G., Joseph, J.A., Shukitt Hale, B. 2014. Effects of dietary blueberry supplementation on older adults [abstract]. American Aging Association. Paper # 75, p. 53.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Aging includes parallel decrements in mobility and cognition in humans and other animals even in the absence of neurodegenerative disorders. Diet has long been known to greatly influence the aging process. A growing body of research shows that dietary supplementation with berry fruit can improve cognition and mobility in aged rodents, in part due to reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation. To determine whether dietary blueberry could reverse age-related motor and cognitive decline, 38 healthy men and women between the ages of 60 and 75 years were recruited into a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial where they consumed freeze-dried blueberry powder or a blueberry placebo powder for 90 days. A battery of balance, gait, and cognitive tests was administered at baseline and again on days 45 and 90 of the intervention. Significant diet group x time point interactions reveal that participants in the blueberry group made fewer repetition errors in the California Verbal Learning test and had a reduced switch cost on a task switching test at 90 days, relative to controls (ps < 0.05). Performance on measures of balance and gait were not statistically different between control and blueberry-fed participants (ps > 0.05). These findings provide evidence that supplementing older adults’ diets with blueberry can improve some aspects of cognition