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D.iet & H.ealth : G.eneral H.ealth Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00

Berries may help keep your brain sharp
By Ben Wasserman
Aug 28, 2006, 10:11

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Eating berries may slow the aging process of the brain or keep human aging brains sharp, a new study suggests.

Tuft University researchers Barbara Shukitt-Hale and colleagues conducted a study in rats and found rats who were on a diet full of berries kept their brains sharper than those who were not.

In the study, researchers examined 60 young male rats in three groups. One group was assigned an ordinary diet without any berries, the second an ordinary diet with strawberry extract and the third an ordinary diet with blueberry extract.

After two months on those diets, half the rats were subject to radiation to speed up the aging process while the other half were not.

Then all the rats were subject to a Maze test and a chemical test for dopamine. A low level of dopamine indicates bad memory, attention and other mental skills.

Rats who were radiated, but on a diet without any berry extract performed worse among the three groups in the maze test and they had lowest levels of dopamine, the researchers found.

Rats who were radiated, but on a diet with berry extract performed as well as those who were not radiated.

It's unknown which berry is better. It also unknown whether the animal study results apply to human brains.

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