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kholden

Blueberries could help treat Parkinson’s disease

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More on blueberries. -Kathrynne     Blueberries could help treat Parkinson’s disease

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NEWS

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Eating blueberries may help treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, according to a new study.

Scientists from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada tested the effects of blueberry extract in fruit flies. First, they injected healthy fruit flies with a gene called alpha-synuclein, which researchers say has been proven to cause Parkinson’s disease. After the flies were injected with the gene, they developed various defects, including retinal degeneration and reduced lifespan. Researchers then separated the flies into two groups—one was fed blueberry extract, and the other was given a standard control diet.

The researchers found that the flies fed the blueberry extract showed greater improvements in their defects than did the control group. The blueberry-fed flies showed improvements in eye defects and also had a 15 percent—or approximately eight-day—greater lifespan than the flies in the control group. The equivalent for humans is an eight-year extended lifespan, researchers said.

Since food products do not receive as much medical testing as do pharmaceuticals, the researchers said that they plan to conduct further studies on blueberry and cranberry extracts to better understand their effects on diseases.

 

http://www.healthcentral.com/dailydose/cf/2014/04/14/blueberries_could_help_treat_parkinson_s_disease

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Kathrynne:

 

Is bilberry similar to blueberry? I ask since bilberry extract has long been touted as being good for retinal health and wondered if the two were somewhat equal.

 

Thanks

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The two are related, and have many similar-- and wonderful -- qualities. Both contain anthocyanins. However, bilberries have been studied for cancers, eye disease as you note, and bowel disease, but not so far as I know, for Parkinson's disease. Blueberries have received study for use in cognition / memory / brain health (including PD), diabetes, and heart disease. How their nutrient profiles compare side-by-side, though, I haven't seen. If I come across such, I will post it.

Edited by Kathrynne Holden, MS

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With all this talk about blueberries would blueberry extract play a role in addition to eating the fruit?

 

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It is possible; much of the research is done on extracts. But the problem is that the extracts used in studies aren't necessarily available to the public. Scientists have highly refined techniques for extracting a particular component of interest,  and these are not often available in grocery stores. You often find such products offered online, but then it's difficult to determine the quality of the product being sold.

Edited by Kathrynne Holden, MS

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If there is ever a food trial involving blueberries- sign me up!

 

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Me too -- I'd happily sign up just so I'd get to eat lots of blueberries!

Edited by Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Hello Kathrynne, 

 

My husband will be thrilled with the blueberry story!

 

Have you heard the latest news about coconut oil having some amazing benefits for Parkinson's as well? 

Seems to help with cognitive issues.

Can you comment?

 

Thank you, 

Michelle

PS -- I have been giving my husband some aloe gel mixed in OJ in the morning (food grade from Whole Foods) and there is no noteworthy improvement in his symptoms.

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Michelle, there are several threads (one quite long) on coconut oil for PD on this forum. If you search using "coconut oil" you will turn up all the information I have at this time. I think it is safe, possibly effective, but the facts aren't all in at this time. I'm keeping a close eye on studies of coconut oil related to PD, and will post anything I find of interest.

 

Thank you for the information on aloe gel, and please keep us updated on this. Though anecdotal, such information is helpful for many folks.

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I'll set out a bowl of blueberries to help any tremoring fruitflies that stop by  ....  can't help but be a little skeptical of there benefit to my PD (although I do love them).

 

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Well, I always like to cover all my bases. :)

Edited by Kathrynne Holden, MS

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