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Blueberry Extract and Parkinson’s

Dear Friends

Parkinson’s is a neurological disease characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the dopaminergic neurons of the mid brain, causing them to die, resulting in motor dysfunction.

Parkinson’s (PD) has been positively associated with two groups of pesticides, those that impair mitochondrial function and those that increase oxidative stress.  Two such pesticides are paraquat, which causes oxidative stress, and rotenone, which inhibits mitochondrial complex I, both induce loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons and behavioral changes associated with human PD.

Epidemiological findings suggest that the consumption of berries rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins may reduce PD risk.  Strathearn et al. (2014) demonstrated powerful protective effects of blueberry extract in protecting the neurons from the oxidative damage of the pesticides.  In their study, they investigated whether extracts rich in anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, or other polyphenols, suppress the neurotoxic effects of rotenone in a primary cell culture model of PD.

Extracts rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins exhibited greater neuroprotective activity than extracts rich in other polyphenols, and a number of individual anthocyanins interfered with rotenone neurotoxicity.  The blueberry and grape seed extracts rescued rotenone-induced defects in mitochondrial respiration in a dopaminergic cell line.

Dr. Mary Ann Lila, one of the study’s team of scientists, and the director of North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute stated:

Blueberries have both of these natural chemicals (anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins) in high concentrations, so they pack a more powerful, one-two punch.  They can have synergistic benefits that surpass many other fruits when it comes to protection against brain cell death, which in turn may reduce the risk of contracting Parkinson’s.(Moore, 2014)

A cup a day is a good routine for health, according to Lila, and it provides abundant amounts of vitamins A and C, fiber, manganese and phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Blueberries are also a “brain food”, and have been shown to increase powers of concentration and slow cognitive degeneration.

Our  Blueberry Extract (1 capsule) has a cup and a quarter of blueberries, while the Phyto Power (2 capsules) has 200mg of four species of wild harvested blueberries plus 400 mg of rosehips with their powerful collection of flavonoids including proanthocyanidins.

We will focus on these cognitive benefits in our next Forward Thinking.


Moore, J. (2014). Blueberries reduce risk of Parkinson’s, boost brain function finds new study. Plants for human health institute, NC State. Article

Strathearn, K. E., Yousef, G. G., Grace, M. H., Roy, S. L., Tambe, M. A., Ferruzzi, M. G., … & Rochet, J. C. (2014). Neuroprotective effects of anthocyanin-and proanthocyanidin-rich extracts in cellular models of Parkinson׳ s disease. Brain research, 1555, 60-77. Article

Tanner, C. M., Kamel, F., Ross, G. W., Hoppin, J. A., Goldman, S. M., Korell, M., … & Comyns, K. (2011). Rotenone, paraquat, and Parkinson’s disease. Environmental health perspectives, 119(6), 866-872. Article



We have developed our products based on scientific research and/or the practical experience of many healthcare practitioners. There is a growing body of literature on food based nutrition and supplements and their application in support of our health. Please use our products under the advisement of your doctor.

Green Facts:

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It is estimated that one million people suffer from Parkinson’s in the U.S., and although the disease itself is not fatal, complications arising from it can be, and the CDC states that these co-morbidities result in it being the 14th leading cause of death in the country (National Parkinson Foundation).

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