A scientific team based at the Brigham and Women's Hospital
, which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard University, have found that high intake of flavonoid-rich berries can delay memory decline in older women by around two-and-a-half years.
are derived from plants are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity. Flavonoid rich berries include strawberries and blueberries. Red wine is also another source of flavonoids.
According to US News
, the scientists drew their assessment from data taken from the Nurses' Health Study
. This was a review of 121,700 registered nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 who have completed regular health surveys beginning in 1976. The women answered health questionnaires every four years.
According to researchers, this is the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of memory decline, while the length of time over which this research was conducted makes the conclusions more meaningful.
The findings showed that women who ate one or more servings of blueberries or two or more servings of strawberries a week over two decades had minds that, based on memory tests, were 2.5 years younger than those who ate little to no berries.
Elizabeth Devore, a researcher in the Channing Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, is quoted on the website Aaaron Shelley
“This is major step forward because little research previously has explored the effects of berries and flavonoids on memory in older adults. This is the first study of its kind — the first large, epidemiologic study of berry intake in relation to memory decline.”
As with many such research findings further data is required and it is surely no surprise, in itself, that fruit and vegetables are of benefit.