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Can Blueberries reduce for Dementia Risk in Insulin-Resistant Individuals?

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Clinical trial finds that blueberries may be beneficial in reducing the risk of dementia

Dementia is a progressive condition that typically develops over many years, starting in midlife. During middle age, metabolic disturbance is prevalent and considered a significant risk factor for dementia.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less responsive to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Research studies have shown that insulin resistance may increase the risk of developing dementia. Insulin resistance can cause damage to blood vessels, which can lead to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This can result in inflammation and brain cell damage, both risk factors for dementia.

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and monitoring blood sugar levels, individuals may reduce their risk of developing insulin resistance and, in turn, lower their risk of developing dementia.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial explored the potential of blueberry supplementation to improve cognitive performance, affect metabolism and brain function, and play a role in preventing neurodegeneration. A randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of daily blueberry supplementation in overweight men and women aged 50 to 65 with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and insulin resistance. The researchers performed pre- and post-intervention assessments of cognition and metabolism and exploratory measures of peripheral mitochondrial function.

Findings

The blueberry group showed improvements in cognitive performance on lexical access and memory interference measures. They also reported reduced memory encoding difficulty in daily life activities. The cognitive improvements observed in this middle-aged sample suggest that blueberry supplementation may contribute to protection against cognitive decline when implemented early in at-risk individuals.

In addition to cognitive benefits, the blueberry-treated group exhibited correction of peripheral hyperinsulinemia and a modest trend for increased mitochondrial uncoupling. These changes imply potential mechanistic factors associated with anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin actions. These compounds are abundant in blueberries and are believed to contribute to their cognitive and metabolic effects.

Conclusion

Blueberries are a readily available and safe dietary supplement that could be a cost-effective and accessible preventative measure against cognitive decline. The results of this trial suggest that blueberry supplementation may have a role in early intervention to prevent neurodegeneration in individuals with insulin resistance and SCD. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and understand how blueberries improve cognitive and metabolic function.

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Significance

The implications of these findings are significant, given the growing prevalence of dementia worldwide. Preventative measures that can delay or prevent cognitive decline are urgently needed. Blueberry supplementation offers a potential non-pharmacological strategy to mitigate the risk of cognitive decline in at-risk individuals. Additionally, given the safety and accessibility of blueberries, they may be an appealing option for individuals looking to reduce their risk of dementia.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.