Last week we learned that blueberries actually contribute to a good feeling of well-being. And it gets better.
A 2022 research of Spohr et al. decided to test blueberry extract on a group of Wistar rats. The story of course gets darker from there. The rats were given Vehicle (a carrier), lithium, or blueberry extract for 14 days. Starting on the eighth day and through the 14th day, some of the rats were injected with Ketamine (induces hallucination) and some with vehicle. Blueberry extract and lithium were successful at helping the rats to move from place to place easily and overall blueberry extract showed a great potential for brain protection which is very important for Bipolar Disorder.
Yes, the abstract reads like a tense story because we do care about animals being used for research, and especially when they are injected with such intense drugs. Seann and I have known many research scientists over the years that actually do care about their rats (as they call them) and feel the sadness of causing pain. Still...
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric disease characterized by mood episodes. Blueberry is rich in bioactive compounds and shows excellent therapeutic potential against chronic diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of blueberry extract on behavior, energetic metabolism, Ca2+-ATPase activity, and levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of rats submitted to an animal model of mania induced by ketamine. Vehicle, lithium (45 mg/kg, twice a day), or blueberry extract (200 mg/kg), was orally administered to Wistar rats for 14 days. Ketamine (25 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered intraperitoneally, once a day, between the 8th and 14th day. On the 15th day, animals received ketamine or vehicle and were subjected to the open field test. Our results demonstrated that the administration of lithium and blueberry extract prevented ketamine-induced hyperlocomotion (P < 0.01). Blueberry extract attenuated the ketamine-induced reduction in the activity of complex I in the cerebral cortex (P < 0.05). Additionally, the administration of ketamine reduced the activities of complexes I and IV (P < 0.05) and citrate synthase in the hippocampus (P < 0.01). However, blueberry extract attenuated the inhibition in the activity of complex IV (P < 0.01). Furthermore, ketamine reduced the Ca2+-ATPase activity in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus (P < 0.05); however, blueberry extract prevented the change in the cerebral cortex (P < 0.05). There were no significant alterations in the levels of BDNF (P > 0.05). In conclusion, this suggested that the blueberry extract can serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for studies searching for novel therapeutic alternatives for BD patients. Abstract
- Spohr, L., Soares, M. S. P., Bona, N. P., Pedra, N. S., Barschak, A. G., Alvariz, R. M., ... & Spanevello, R. M. (2022). Effect of blueberry extract on energetic metabolism, levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and Ca2+-ATPase activity in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex of rats submitted to ketamine-induced mania-like behavior. Metabolic Brain Disease, 1-13. Abstract
- Sinclair, J. K., Bottoms, L., Dillon, S., Allan, R., Shadwell, G., & Butters, B. (2022). Effects of Montmorency tart cherry and blueberry juice on cardiometabolic and other health related outcomes: a 3-arm placebo randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Article
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Curtis, P. J., Berends, L., van der Velpen, V., Jennings, A., Haag, L., Chandra, P., ... & Cassidy, A. (2022). Blueberry anthocyanin intake attenuates the postprandial cardiometabolic effect of an energy-dense food challenge: results from a double blind, randomized controlled trial in metabolic syndrome participants. Clinical Nutrition, 41(1), 165-176. Article
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