Blueberry supplement quickly reverses the effects of aging on brain region involved with hearing and processing sound

June 17, 2005

The auditory cortex is where the auditory nerve from the inner ear connects with the brain, where hearing and sounds are interpreted. With aging, the speed of processing sound and language slows.

Blueberries are a well-known berry, native to North America. They are rich in pigments known as polyphenols, like micronutrients and fiber. In this study, aged rats were given either a blueberry supplement or a placebo for two months.

After two months, the rats on the blueberry supplement were able to respond vigorously to vast sweeps of faster sound (similar to that observed in young rats). The majority of their auditory cortex cells had rejuvenated. In the placebo rats, the majority of their auditory cortex cells could not handle the fast sound and they preferred a slower rate of sound. The study is published electronically June 9th, 2005 ahead of publishing in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.