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Berries can boost brain power?

A new scientific review suggests that a few berries a day can help keep mental decline and other age-related illnesses at bay. Scientists say that eating berries like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can help maintain a sharp memory and prevent the onset of mental decline.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 14, 2012 13:10 IST

A new scientific review suggests that a few berries a day can help keep mental decline and other age-related illnesses at bay.



In an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists concluded that eating berries like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can help maintain a sharp memory and prevent the onset of mental decline due to their high levels of antioxidants which help protect cells from harmful free radicals.



The study was released by the American Chemical Society last week.



After reviewing cellular, animal and human studies about the impact of berries on cognitive health, scientists found that berries also help protect the brain by changing the way neurons communicate.



The changes in signaling can not only improve motor control and cognition but also prevent inflammation in the brain which leads to neuronal damage.



The latest review builds on previous studies which also found that berries can help prevent memory loss by acting as the brain's natural "housekeeper," cleaning up and recycling the toxic proteins.



In a 2010 study, scientists found that the polyphenolics in berries play a key role in helping the brain's housekeeping cells, known as microglia, remove and recycle harmful biochemical debris -- a natural process that begins to decline with age.