Posted on Nov 30, 2018, 1 a.m.
A compound that can only be found within blueberries may have a significant anti-aging effect, making them an even more perfect snack.
Blueberries get their colour and impressive antioxidant benefits from anthocyanins, however the compound responsible for their anti-aging effect is pterostilbene, and blueberries are the only place you can get it.
Pterostilbene activates 3 different pathways that play roles in aging:
- Pterostilbene increases activity of adenosine monophosphate activated kinase pathway that slows down with age, and this slow down contributes to weight gain and accelerated aging because AMPK regulates the body’s production of energy. Increasing activity of the adenosine monophosphate activated kinase pathway brings down fat, blood sugar levels, chronic inflammation, improves memory, and stops beta amyloid plaque and tau tangles; and is estimated to increase lifespan by 20%.
- Pterostilbene limits expression of mTOR signaling pathways which regulates cell growth, proliferation, and survival. Issues in this pathway can lead to chronic degenerative conditions and cancer. Inhibiting this pathway by 25% can lead to a 20% lifespan increase.
- Pterostilbene modulates the sirtuins pathway, sirtuin is an anti-aging molecule within the body that helps to maintain the length of telomeres that are important to longevity and regulating DNA repair, which is being investigated as a potential way of mitigating injury to heart muscles after an attack, and reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Pterostilbene has also been shown to help prevent dopamine loss in the memory centers of aged rats, and is hoped to have the same effect in humans.
These little blue gems are a source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, myricetin, and arbutin which are neuroprotectants that can boost cognition and prevent the brain from experiencing age related changes. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found blueberries to mitigate neurodegeneration and slow development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Another study showed blueberry extract to extend lifespans of fruit flies by a mean of 10% by increasing expression of certain genes that prolong lifespan while decreasing expression of genes that accelerate aging which was published in the Experimental Gerontology Journal.
These beautiful little berries carry many benefits and are tasty to eat alone but they can be easily incorporated into other dishes such as smoothies, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, muffins, fruit salad, or to add an antioxidant boost to salads.
Blueberries are versatile, delicious, and may help to extend life. Blueberries can be costly when out of season, but the do freeze well. Make sure to buy clean fruit and try to buy organic to avoid longevity destroying pesticides into the body.
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