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Effects of Blueberries in Older Adults

Although much is already known about the benefits of a healthy diet for the prevention of a wide range of chronic diseases, including the particular health benefits of anthocyanin-rich foods, these effects have been examined with much less frequency in older adults, who tend to be excluded from formal feeding studies and, until recently, have represented a small proportion of ongoing cohort studies. The proposed study will randomize approximately 46 women and 24 men, representative of the proportion of elderly women and men in the U.S., living at Hebrew SeniorLife-affiliated retirement communities in Massachusetts to consume either:

1 cup of frozen blueberries daily for 12 weeks

or

2-3 dried dates daily for 12 weeks.

Dates were chosen as a control food because they contain negligible polyphenols, proportionately high caloric content, and a convenient form for storage. After the 12-week intervention, researchers will repeat in-person study assessments from baseline.