Blueberry Leaf Extract
       w/ Proanthocyanidins
 
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July 2012 By Susan Evans

Until recently, the majority of scientific research on blueberries has focused on the cognitive benefits of this fruit. Multiple studies have shown that blueberries slow age-related damage to brain cells and protect memory-associated brain regions from oxidant and inflammatory damage.1,2 The result is improvements in overall cognitive function.3,4 Researchers have uncovered new data showing that blueberries delay aging and promote longevity. In laboratory experiments, blueberries and their extracts have extended the life span in two different models of aging.5,6 Additionally, blueberries have been shown to fight DNA damage, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer. Rich in anthocyanins and pterostilbenes, blueberries are becoming a critical component of a science-based longevity program.

Blueberries Increase Life Span Across Species
In studying longevity benefits of various compounds, scientists often use fruit flies as a laboratory model of aging. What researchers discovered is that fruit flies live 10% longer when fed a regular diet containing blueberry extract.5 Not only do the fruit flies live longer but they also show improved levels of physical activity. These enhancements arise both from increased tolerance of oxidant stress and from beneficial changes in the way certain important genes are expressed. Still more dramatic life span extension has been shown in another aging model called C. elegans. After supplementation with blueberry extract, these organisms lived an average of 28% longer, and the maximum life span increased by 14%.6 The supplemented animals showed a 20% reduction in an age-related protein that impairs function, and vastly improved tolerance of stress in their environment.6 Mammals experience increased longevity and slowed aging processes when fed blueberry extracts, as shown by a study of mice on calorie restriction. When calorie-restricted mice had blueberry extracts added to their food ration, they not only outlived the normally-fed mice, but also the calorie-restricted mice who were not given the supplement as well.7 In addition to extending the life span of whole organisms, blueberries and their extracts slow aging in individual tissues, providing wide physiological benefits. (See table 1). Along with increasing all around longevity, blueberries can specifically decrease the risk of various degenerative diseases that reduce the human life spans.

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   *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.