I was reading an article on Medscape from WebMD about healthy foods, specifically berries, that was quite interesting. The article stated that scientists have discovered a new mechanism in which berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, Acai berries can help remove toxins from the brain. Basically in mouse brain cells they found that extracts of berries improved the ability of brain cells to “vacuum “or suck up toxic debris in the brain. They further comment that many studies have shown that this “housekeeping function” in the brain can decline with age; however, increasing berry intake has been shown to preserve this housekeeping function.Now exactly how does this work?

Well, basically scientists describe polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can enhance brain health. These antioxidants bump into toxins that are running around the brain and causing damage, inactivate the toxins, and prevent brain damage in the area of the brain involving learning and memory. Now scientists have known about the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in berries, walnuts and in other fruits and vegetables, but this new research shows that berries allow brain cells themselves to better remove toxins.

This is exciting news because basically what these scientists are saying are that berries reactivate the function of brain cells, which allows them to continue thoroughly cleaning toxins out of the brain. This is excellent information for particularly older people who have a decline in the “housekeeping function” potential brain cells. Therefore, regular consumption of berries may further improve the function of brain cells.

The only caveat to the study is that the levels of berry juice used in this study was incredibly high so that the amounts consumed in the normal diet would be good enough to notice an effect.