One Daily Cup of Blueberries Found to Improve Cognition

Michael Greger M.D. FACLM, a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, a physician, a New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized speaker on nutrition shared in his Nutritionfacts.org blog that blueberries can significantly improve cognitive performance within hours of consumption.

When you search the medical literature for studies on berries, papers like this pop up: “A 3-Week-Old With an Isolated ‘Blueberry Muffin’ Rash.” Or, you’ll see pictures of strawberry tongues or read about a way to describe the appearance of the stool, though “stools truly resembling currant jelly” are not very common. What is it with pathologists’ love affair with food terminology? The grossest may be the way amoeba chest infections are described—“expectoration of ‘anchovy sauce-like pus,” which sounds gross even without the pus.

There are actual studies on berry supplementation, such as how they can mitigate the negative effects of a high saturated fat diet on the brain and behavior, but that one, in particular, was in mice. Maybe a better way to mitigate would be not feeding your pet mouse a stick of butter in the first place.

Then, there are studies of proprietary berry-based nutraceutical supplements, purported to improve cognitive performance. At 1:11 in my video Flashback Friday: Benefits of Blueberries for the Brain and below, you can see how the supplement group has a steeper rise in cognitive performance over the placebo group. Looks impressive, right? Ah, but old hats will instantly recognize this as the timeless trick featured in the 1950s classic, How to Lie with Statistics. If you look closely at the chart, you’ll notice the Y axis does not start at zero. That’s to inflate the appearance. When you correct the graph and start that axis at zero, you can see the effect doesn’t look quite so impressive.

To view the graph and read the remainder of this article, click here.

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