Systematic review of the effects of blueberry on cognitive performance as we age

Sabine Hein, Adrian Robert Whyte, Eleanor Wood, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Claire Michelle Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of flavonoid-rich food, such as blueberries, on cognitive function has been subject to a growing amount of research interest in recent years. Epidemiological, prospective, pre-clinical and clinical trials have revealed positive cognitive benefits from flavonoid interventions, particularly in relation to the amelioration of cognitive decline in older adults. This review will specifically consider the existing clinical research from both acute and chronic blueberry interventions on cognition in human subjects. The results of 11 studies are reported with four studies considering blueberry intervention with 7 – 10 yr old children, four considering aging 60+ yr old adults, and three considering adults suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Findings from these studies indicate that cognitive benefits may be found for delayed memory and executive function in children and for delayed memory, executive function, and psychomotor function in older healthy and MCI adults. There is less evidence to suggest positive benefits of blueberry intervention on working memory. Recommendations for future research including dose used, cognitive tasks, and age groups considered, are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-995
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number7
Early online date19 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2019


  • Anthocyanins
  • Blueberry
  • Cognition
  • Flavonoids
  • Life-course


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