Elixir of youth

the secret of youth may be as close as a nearby farm or supermarket. There is reason to believe that eating blueberries slows down the ageing process after elderly rats showed considerable improvement in age-related features in a joint study by Tufts University in Boston and the us departent of agriculture ( usda ). It is believed that antioxidants present in the blueberries protect the body against "oxidative stress', one of several biological processes that cause ageing.

Barbara Shukitt-Hale of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing at Tufts University in Boston and James Joseph of the usda report that while strawberry and spinach extract produced some improvement in memory, only blueberry extract had a significant effect on balance and coordination. Three groups of old rats were fed an eight-week diet supplemented with fruit or vegetable extracts with potential antioxidant effects. A fourth group of animals did not receive the special diet. The group of elderly rats fed the human equivalent of at least half a cup of blueberries a day improved in balance, coordination and short-term memory, which are key indicators of age-related decline ( Journal of Neuroscience , Vol 19, No 18).

The rats used in this study were 19 months old