Oklahoma Researchers Find Blueberries Boost Health Benefits In Seniors

Monday, February 21st 2011, 7:36 pm
By: News 9

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- OU and OSU researchers put aside any rivalry and worked together to study if something as safe and simple as adding blueberries to a diet could make a life-changing difference.

Researchers set out studying the antioxidant benefits on volunteers at risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Participants were asked to drink a blueberry beverage twice a day. In just eight weeks, blood pressure dropped about eight points.

"The finding was quite surprising because there was a significant beneficial effect on blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic lower blood pressure," Dr. Timothy Lyons with the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center said.

Renita Fair participated in the study and experienced the healthy benefits of blueberries.

"In terms of my energy, I wasn't as tired," said Fair. "[My] blood pressure did come down some. My cholesterol kind of went down some."

Researchers said although the findings were significant, the study was small.

"This is exciting, but it needs much more extensive work in order to improve it and define the extend that we're seeing."

Researchers have applied for more grant money and hope to begin another study involving blueberries later this year. They warned drinking blueberry juice from the store may not have the same benefits because those beverages could contain a lot of sugar. They recommended eating fresh blueberries instead.