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Summary: Blueberries have been shown to have tremendous health benefits when consumed regularly. (I eat them every morning.) They are rich in flavinoids, phytonutrients that are powerful antioxidants acting on different targets than vitamin C. They reduce the risk for many chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Ongoing studies are investigating their ability to help with osteoporosis, memory loss, and Alzheimer's.

Recipes for blueberries!

There are other berries that contain more polyphenols. The best berries? Here is a comparison of the flavinoid content of various berries. Though blueberries are great, Chokeberries, eaten mainly in Finland, have more than twice the flavinoid content.

See email about possible Clinical Trial sent in 2014.

Recently I have had conversations with Rolf Martin, who is a principal investigator in the ongoing Blueberry Study, which has made blueberries so desirable to eat because of the wonderful health benefits he helped to discover and document in peer-reviewed science journals. Recently he has become interested in two likely health benefits. Eating blueberries is likely to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and of Alzheimer's. Below is a summary of our conversations and some of the documentation.

As his lab is sponsoring clinical trials that reimburse participants for the cost of buying blueberries to eat, I have agreed to compile a list of volunteers who might wish to participate. If you are interested, please reply to, SUBJECT: Blueberries, Alzheimer’s, and Osteoporosis

1) Alzheimer's: On Jun 16, Rolf Martin wrote: Wonder what you think of the following papers: Re: Links to copper-Alzheimer's articles that say copper in vitamin pills may be harmful.  Iron, aluminum in certain forms may also be harmful.  I'm avoiding vitamin pills and foods with these minerals.  Zinc is safe according to these papers.

This link reviews evidence that iron accumulates in Alzheimer's brains when blood transport mechanisms are low.  One of the authors is a Mass General Hosp/Harvard neurochemist, giving this article more credibility than otherwise.  

We've avoided iron-containing supplements for many years because of similar evidence. These new papers may be confusing since many people need extra copper and iron, leading multivitamin manufacturers to include them in widely-consumed supplements.The key seems to be to consume the right forms and amounts, to get the benefits they provide while avoiding harmful excess and harmful inorganic forms. It may be safest to check with your physician if you are unsure, since he or she may know more about your personal needs. 

Blueberries and other sources of polyphenols may be beneficial in part because they bind and neutralize excessive amounts of these potentially harmful or useful metals. Best wishes for long-term health past 100, Rolf

My thoughts: FROM MY WEBSITE: From chelation therapies
1. Iron Chelation, by Dr. Richardson: we need iron chelators to treat Parkinson's. They generate free radicals that cause damage. Rasagiline is a great iron chelator approved by the FDA in 2005.
2. EGCG from tea is a potent metal chelator that crosses blood-brain barrier. Ref: Levites, JBC 277: 30574 (2002)
For Parkinson's disease, one needs an iron (Fe) chelator and EGCG (most concentrated in green tea) to cover both routes of damage. Fe radical damage prevented by chelator, 2. neuron loss prevented by EGCG. So it makes sense to me that iron or copper might trigger free radical damage.  I note many AGE and LPI people take multivitamins without iron. Between multivitamins and red meat consumption and geritol many years ago, I hypothesize iron is the culprit.  You only have one author of those two papers that add copper to the list.  Not enough to cause me worry yet.  

But here's what I do: 1. try not to eat to much 4 legged (red) meat. 2. take a multivitamin without iron only about once a week, as I think people with a good diet do not require a multi.  3. And I drink about 3 cups of green tea daily, and 2 g fish oil, and vitamin C 500 mg BID, and have blueberries every morning. 4. I get lots of exercise, think about hard topics, and think about sex - which are the 3 steps for building neurons recommended at the AGE meeting in Scottsdale a few years ago. 5. I meditate, which measurably and quickly increases the volume of the brain and generates new neurons.

2) Blueberries and Green Tea: Quercetin (a major polyphenol found in blueberries) increased the antiproliferative activity of green tea polyphenol EGCG in prostate cancer cells.  Incubation with both quercetin and EGCG for 2 h increased the cellular concentrations of EGCG by 4- to 8-fold. As stated above, EGCG from tea is a potent metal chelator that crosses blood-brain barrier, where it can prevent the harmful reactions catalazed by iron, copper, and aluminum.

3) Osteoporosis: There has been a lot of research conducted by Wang et al showing that in cell culture and animals blueberry consumption has many benefits that will reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Here are a few titles: *Blueberry consumption prevents loss of collagen in bone matrix and inhibits senescence pathways in osteoblastic cells.*Feeding blueberry diets in early life prevent senescence of osteoblasts and bone loss in ovariectomized adult female rats. The biochemical mechanism of these benefits has been shown in other publications, and clinical trials are being designed now to show this benefit in humans.

1. Blueberry consumption prevents loss of collagen in bone matrix and inhibits senescence pathways in osteoblastic cells.
Zhang J, Lazarenko OP, Blackburn ML, Badger TM, Ronis MJ, Chen JR.
Age (Dordr). 2013 Jun;35(3):807-20. doi: 10.1007/s11357-012-9412-z. Epub 2012 May 4.

2. Feeding blueberry diets in early life prevent senescence of osteoblasts and bone loss in ovariectomized adult female rats.
Zhang J, Lazarenko OP, Blackburn ML, Shankar K, Badger TM, Ronis MJ, Chen JR.
PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024486. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

3. [Chemical principles and bioactivities of blueberry].
Chen CF, Li YD, Xu Z.
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2010 Apr;45(4):422-9. Review. Chinese.

4. Dietary-induced serum phenolic acids promote bone growth via p38 MAPK/β-catenin canonical Wnt signaling.
Chen JR, Lazarenko OP, Wu X, Kang J, Blackburn ML, Shankar K, Badger TM, Ronis MJ.
J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Nov;25(11):2399-411. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.137.

5. Combining fructooligosaccharide and dried plum has the greatest effect on restoring bone mineral density among select functional foods and bioactive compounds.
Arjmandi BH, Johnson CD, Campbell SC, Hooshmand S, Chai SC, Akhter MP.
J Med Food. 2010 Apr;13(2):312-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0068.

6. Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Devareddy L, Hooshmand S, Collins JK, Lucas EA, Chai SC, Arjmandi BH.
J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Oct;19(10):694-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2007.09.004. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

7. Review: Dietary Polyphenols, Berries, and Age-Related Bone Loss: A Review Based on Human, Animal, and Cell Studies, Antioxidants 2014, 3, 144-158

 For my index of healthspan activities, click here.

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