Research reveals that whole blueberries may reduce oxidative damage in the brain. Oxidative damage occurs thanks to free radicals—unstable forms of oxygen that are missing an electron. Free radicals are the byproduct of energy production in the body. When free radicals come into contact with other cells, they try to “steal” an electron from them in an effort to regain stability. As a result, the healthy cell is damaged. Over time, these continuous hits to healthy cells can lead to disease.
This process occurs throughout the body, including the brain. Using D-galactose to induce age-related oxidative changes in the brain, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) against oxidative damage and disease prevention.
The researchers found that the blueberry “partially prevented the shift towards an imbalanced prooxidative status and apoptosis [cell death] together with histopathological amelioration by acting as an antioxidant (radical scavenger)…”
Coban J, et al. Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Jun;30(3):793-802.