Blueberries are famed for their health giving goodness. They are small unassuming little berries but wow do they pack a punch.
These little berries are full of antioxidants that we need to purge our bodies of the toxins that build up over time. They contain good levels of of micronutrients such as manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K. Blueberries also contain phytochemicals which are suggested to have a beneficial effect on certain diseases of the human body.
Studies have been performed to discover if these suggestions have any credible weight behind them, the findings are proving to be rather exciting. Past studies have been performed into the effects of blueberries on diseases such as diabetes and heart disease but scientists have turned their attention to neurological disease such as strokes and Parkinson's.
Today currently around 500,000 people in the US suffer with Parkinson's disease. It is a life altering diagnosis for anyone as it causes the deterioration of brain function during later life. Scientists are still unsure of the cause of Parkinson's but it is thought to be caused by a particular gene.
The Brain is a complex organ that controls our bodily functions through the production of dopamine (a chemical produced within the brains network of presynaptic terminals). Sadly those suffering with Parkinson's appear to have reduced levels of dopamine which controls motor function.
The suggested gene responsible for Parkinson's is known as Alph-Synuclein. Scientists have tested the effects of blueberry extract on fruit flies which were given the alpha-synuclein gene. They found that the flies which received the blueberry extract experienced an improved life span and improvement of any eye defects caused by the gene.
These findings are extremely promising in an age when our populations are aging and we are experiencing increases in age related diseases.