The Tiny Berry That Could Save Your Life

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

May 17, 2013

  • This tasty treat is better than M&Ms
  • Reduce your risk of heart attack by 33%
  • Shut down cancer cells in 72 hours

One thing I try to reinforce with all of my patients is the benefits of a healthy diet. The fact is many of today’s health problems could be solved simply by making dietary changes. But those changes can be hard to make. Especially if you don’t like some of the foods involved.

So whenever I hear good news about a delicious, natural food that has numerous health benefits, I like to share it.

And I have to say… the news about blueberries just keeps getting better and better.

I enjoy eating these little berries because they taste good. Knowing I’m getting a big health boost each time I eat them only adds to my pleasure.

However, before I go further I just want to be clear that I DON’T eat my blueberries in muffins, cobblers, pies or pastries. And I don’t recommend you do, either.

That would crush the health-giving properties of these tasty berries.

Instead, I like to grab a handful of fresh, organic blueberries and toss them in my mouth like M&Ms. You can also add them to plain yogurt or toss them into a fruit and nut salad.

Now let’s look at some of the great news coming out about these juicy little berries…

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Just last January a study came out of Harvard that had some great news. The researchers found three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries a week could slash a woman’s risk of heart attack by as much as 33%.

Apparently the naturally occurring anthocyanins (antioxidant flavonoids) in berries help dilate the arteries and reduce plaque build up. This, in turn, reduces heart attack risk. So that’s the first bit of good news. But it doesn’t stop there.

Additional research has given us plenty more positive news when it comes to anthocyanins. Late last year a study followed 150 people with high cholesterol. Those who took an anthocyanin extract improved LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels. These are all risk factors for both cardiovascular problems and diabetes.

Another study from October, 2012 also showed women who get more anthocyanins have lower arterial stiffness and lower blood pressure. This supports previous research from the Nurses’ Health Study II that showed blueberries and strawberries can reduce blood pressure by about 8%. So that’s even more good news for your heart.

And these delicious berries can boost your brainpower, too.

People who eat more blueberries are able to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. In other words, you can keep your brain younger, longer, just by eating berries!

Plus, they keep your brain working smarter. The anthocyanins found in blueberries (and blueberry juice) can increase certain signals in the brain center that help improve memory recall. And to top it off, these same brain signals can reduce your chance of depression.

This is news you can really sink your teeth into. But you know what? This is just the beginning! Wait until you hear the rest of the story…

The antioxidant power of anthocyanins is undeniable.

These flavonoids are good for you. They protect your brain, your heart and your entire cardiovascular system. Some research even shows they help improve insulin sensitivity.

These are all very good reasons to snack on blueberries whenever you want. And when you hear the next bit of news, you might want to munch on them even more!

That’s because there’s another super-antioxidant found in these berries that’s reaching groundbreaking status.

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It’s called pterostilbene (pronounced tero-still-bean.) This compound is a second cousin to the resveratrol found in grapes… but it’s 4 times more potent than resveratrol!

You may not have heard much about this powerhouse yet, but you can bet your bottom dollar that scientists and medical researchers are standing up and taking notice. Many believe pterostilbene may be the breakthrough anti-aging discovery of the 21st century.

And there’s good reason for that.

While most of the research so far has been completed in test tubes and animal studies, the news is incredible.

In humans, it’s already been shown to lower blood pressure. In animal models it lowers blood sugar and improves insulin response. And it appears to be much better than resveratrol when it comes to brain function and Alzheimer’s disease.

But there is one area of research where this exciting compound is shining even brighter: Cancer research.

It turns out this incredible nutrient can drastically reduce cancer cells in the lungs, breast and pancreas in just about 72 hours. That’s what happened when pterostilbene was introduced to cancer cells in test tube studies.

And I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my blueberries just a little more. I hope you decide to pick up a container of these healthy and delicious berries, too.

Just remember to buy organic and wash them well before eating. After that, it’s easy… Just like popping a handful of M&Ms into your mouth, but with much greater health benefits.


Resources:

Aedín Cassidy, PhD; Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD; Lydia Liu, MSc; et al. High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women. Circulation. 2013; 127: 188-196.

Zhu Y, Ling W, Guo H, Song F, Ye Q, Zou T, et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of purified dietary anthocyanin in adults with hypercholesterolemia: A randomized controlled trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Aug 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Jennings A, Welch AA, Fairweather-Tait SJ, et al. Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;96(4):781-8.

Cassidy A, O’Reilly ÉJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):338-47.

Devore EE, Kang JH, Breteler MM, Grodstein F. Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Ann Neurol. 2012 Jul;72(1):135-43

Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, Kalt W, Vinqvist-Tymchuk MR, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.

University of Mississippi (2012, September 20). Clinical trial reveals pterostilbene reduces blood pressure in adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2012/09/120920141008.htm

Pari L, Satheesh MA. Effect of pterostilbene on hepatic key enzymes of glucose metabolism in streptozotocin- and nicotinamide-induced diabetic rats. Life Sci. 2006 Jul 10;79(7):641-5. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Chang J, Rimando A, Pallas M, Camins A, Porquet D, Reeves J, Shukitt-Hale B, Smith MA, Joseph JA, Casadesus G. Low-dose pterostilbene, but not resveratrol, is a potent neuromodulator in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Sep;33(9):2062-71.

Schneider JG, Alosi JA, McDonald DE, McFadden DW. Pterostilbene inhibits lung cancer through induction of apoptosis. J Surg Res. 2010 Jun 1;161(1):18-22.

Mannal PW, Alosi JA, Schneider JG, McDonald DE, McFadden DW. Pterostilbene inhibits pancreatic cancer in vitro. J Gastrointest Surg. 2010 May;14(5):873-9.

Alosi JA, McDonald DE, Schneider JS, Privette AR, McFadden DW. Pterostilbene inhibits breast cancer in vitro through mitochondrial depolarization and induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis. J Surg Res. 2010 Jun 15;161(2):195-201.

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