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Brain injuries continue to affect thousands of people in the UK every year, from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injury. Frequent causes are car accidents, falls and assaults. However the answer to preventing some minor brain injuries may be found in blueberries.
After 20 years of research in traumatic brain injury, the Canadian scientist Dr John Weber has become interested in the possible benefits of blueberries, bilberries and lingonberries.
When a brain is damaged by physical trauma, the body’s reaction of over-producing reactive oxygen species can damage and kill brain cells. The body naturally protects itself with antioxidants from reactive oxygen species, so Dr Weber is exploring whether consuming antioxidant-rich berries may offer extra protection in the event of an accident. Talking about this Dr Weber said,
‘When we added various berry extracts to cultured brain cells, we found that the cell damage was dramatically reduced and, in fact, the extracts were so protective that I couldn’t believe the findings until I repeated the experiment several times.’
His team found that the antioxidant levels appear to be much greater in blueberry and lingonberry leaves, compared to the actual fruits.
Eating berries alone can’t be expected to protect the brain from a severe injury. However having more antioxidant chemicals from berries in the brain could protect cells after a concussion and help someone make a better recovery. This however remains to be proven, but is an interesting area of research which may benefit people in the future. If you or a loved one has been affected by head injury caused by someone else, please contact Ian Shovlin or call on 0800 073 0988.
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