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Blueberries and Memory

I’ve been studying for a huge Japanese language test for the better part of a year. The amount of information required for it is really daunting when looked at as a whole, but having time on my side I’ve calculated that 2 hours a day of Kanji/grammar/listening and writing, for the next several months, should be enough to help me ace the test. So I’ve been on a pretty structured study regimen.

Blueberries are usually pretty pricey in Japan…fresh is about 10 bucks for a SMALL punnet, frozen about $4.50 for 100g. I still bought them occasionally as an addition to oatmeal or just as a treat.

Recently, though, a supermarket near my house had a “we’ve gone bankrupt and need to liquidate shit” sale. Frozen blueberries were slashed to 75 cents a bag! I bought the store’s entire stock, about 60 bags, and stuffed them in the freezer of my beer fridge. Yes, I have an actual “beer fridge”…homebrewing is a big hobby of mine.

To get to my point, I’ve been eating an entire bag a day for the past few weeks. May I be struck dead if I’m lying, but I feel “sharper”. My ability to memorize, retain AND recall Kanji at will is palpably better than before I started eating so many blueberries. My job involves a lot of doctor consultations re: pharmaceuticals and even when I’m asked curve-ball questions my ability to recall very specific technical information and answer has definitely gotten better.

I’ve tried piracetam before. These frigging berries work much, much better for me. Nothing else has changed in my diet or lifestyle.

I went digging through PubMed and found a few interesting studies about it. Most of the older ones pertain to cognitive preservation but a several newer ones lean towards cognitive enhancement. Here’s an interesting one. I wouldn’t be considered an “aged rat” I guess (depending who you ask), but it’s still fascinating

I had a room mate last year who is currently working on his phd in cognitive psych. He worked on a large study involving berries(blue berries and cranberries if I recall) as part of an over all dietary study of cognitive function and longevity in rats. He talked to me about seeing very good results with the rodents consuming blue berries, and further validated my borderline obsession with them.

I LOVE blueberries! They are truly a wonderfood provided by nature. I eat a cup or more every day.

Thin skinned berries provide the best antioxidant and healthy substances because they need them to protect themselves from the elements. I too notice a pronounced effect from continuous blueberry consumption.

I don’t know about you but I detect a distinctly dopaminergic feeling an hour after consuming a large amount of the little guys. The only drawback is the price!

Very interesting. I eat a pretty good sized amount of blueberries(usually two containers/week)and I honestly have the memory of a 87 year old man. Not quite the intake you are getting, but I wonder if I bump it up a bit I might see improvement?

Nice thread.

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
I’ve been studying for a huge Japanese language test for the better part of a year. The amount of information required for it is really daunting when looked at as a whole, but having time on my side I’ve calculated that 2 hours a day of Kanji/grammar/listening and writing, for the next several months, should be enough to help me ace the test. So I’ve been on a pretty structured study regimen.

Blueberries are usually pretty pricey in Japan…fresh is about 10 bucks for a SMALL punnet, frozen about $4.50 for 100g. I still bought them occasionally as an addition to oatmeal or just as a treat.

Recently, though, a supermarket near my house had a “we’ve gone bankrupt and need to liquidate shit” sale. Frozen blueberries were slashed to 75 cents a bag! I bought the store’s entire stock, about 60 bags, and stuffed them in the freezer of my beer fridge. Yes, I have an actual “beer fridge”…homebrewing is a big hobby of mine.

To get to my point, I’ve been eating an entire bag a day for the past few weeks. May I be struck dead if I’m lying, but I feel “sharper”. My ability to memorize, retain AND recall Kanji at will is palpably better than before I started eating so many blueberries. My job involves a lot of doctor consultations re: pharmaceuticals and even when I’m asked curve-ball questions my ability to recall very specific technical information and answer has definitely gotten better.

I’ve tried piracetam before. These frigging berries work much, much better for me. Nothing else has changed in my diet or lifestyle.

I went digging through PubMed and found a few interesting studies about it. Most of the older ones pertain to cognitive preservation but a several newer ones lean towards cognitive enhancement. Here’s an interesting one. I wouldn’t be considered an “aged rat” I guess (depending who you ask), but it’s still fascinating


[/quote]

That is really interesting!

I studied language (not japanese but a hard one as well) for 8 hours a day of classes, plus 4 hours of homework a night, for 2 friggin years. I did a LOT of experimenting with things that could help with vocabulary retention and memory.

I couldn’t tell you about blueberries, but I did notice an improvement when I started taking full doses of Gingko Biloba twice a day. I also hit a point that I realized I was a total coffee junkie and that the coffee crashes were affecting my brain’s ability to aborb, let alone retain. Switching to tea made me feel a lot more alert and focused, after I went through coffee withdrawal. From what I recall reading, tea caffeine is absorbed much more slowly and does not lead to energy crashes the way coffee does.

Good luck with your test! :smiley:

Green and black tea
According to recent studies, green and black teas appear to have the same effect on Alzheimer’s disease as drugs specifically designed to combat the illness.

Both types of tea fight the illness in many ways, but the most significant seems to be that they prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a key chemical involved in memory that is lacking in Alzheimer’s patients. Green tea was one step ahead, as its effects lasted a full week, whereas those of black tea – which comes from the same plant as green tea but is fermented – only lasted a day.

Sage
In a recent study, subjects who took sage performed significantly better than those who didn’t on a word recall test. Although the exact mechanism behind this isn’t fully clear, experts believe sage might increase levels of a chemical that helps transmit messages in the brain. Since this is also the same chemical that is lacking in Alzheimer’s patients, the possible use of sage to treat this illness is being examined.

Rosemary
Like sage, rosemary can stimulate the memory, strengthen mental clarity and alleviate mental fatigue. Studies have shown that rosemary enhanced subjects’ long-term memory by around 15%.
supplements & more
B vitamins
While a healthy, balanced diet generally provides you with all your essential vitamins and nutrients, a vitamin B complex supplement can be beneficial for your memory, particularly in periods of stress. When you are under mental or physical stress, your body is depleted of B vitamins. This deficiency prevents acetylcholine – a key chemical involved in memory – from functioning in the brain.

B vitamins also carry oxygen to the brain and do away with damaging free radicals; this helps to enhance memory and sharpen the senses. You can either take a supplement or increase your consumption of vitamin B-rich foods, including liver, eggs, lentils, soybeans, and green beans.

Iron (For Women)
Iron deficiency – the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States – is linked to many adverse effects, including difficulty concentrating, diminished intelligence, and a shortened attention span. Iron helps carry oxygen to the brain, and the lack of oxygen associated with iron deficiency can cause brain cell activity to slow down significantly.

A simple blood test can determine whether or not you suffer from this deficiency. If so, you can either take an iron supplement or consume iron-rich foods such as lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, so try to combine the two with supplements or with whole foods during meals.

Water
Since the brain is 70% water, this essential fluid is vital for your memory. In fact, water accelerates the functioning of the brain as a whole, and when it is dehydrated, it works at a slower pace. This is particularly true when it comes to memory; a dehydrated brain releases the hormone cortisol, which adversely affects the brain’s capacity to store information and create memory.

In addition, cortisol causes adrenalin to be released, which prompts the brain to function in a more primary, instinctive way; this also affects our mental functions and memory

[quote]theAnj wrote:
PimpBot5000 wrote:
I’ve been studying for a huge Japanese language test for the better part of a year. The amount of information required for it is really daunting when looked at as a whole, but having time on my side I’ve calculated that 2 hours a day of Kanji/grammar/listening and writing, for the next several months, should be enough to help me ace the test. So I’ve been on a pretty structured study regimen.

Blueberries are usually pretty pricey in Japan…fresh is about 10 bucks for a SMALL punnet, frozen about $4.50 for 100g. I still bought them occasionally as an addition to oatmeal or just as a treat.

Recently, though, a supermarket near my house had a “we’ve gone bankrupt and need to liquidate shit” sale. Frozen blueberries were slashed to 75 cents a bag! I bought the store’s entire stock, about 60 bags, and stuffed them in the freezer of my beer fridge. Yes, I have an actual “beer fridge”…homebrewing is a big hobby of mine.

To get to my point, I’ve been eating an entire bag a day for the past few weeks. May I be struck dead if I’m lying, but I feel “sharper”. My ability to memorize, retain AND recall Kanji at will is palpably better than before I started eating so many blueberries. My job involves a lot of doctor consultations re: pharmaceuticals and even when I’m asked curve-ball questions my ability to recall very specific technical information and answer has definitely gotten better.

I’ve tried piracetam before. These frigging berries work much, much better for me. Nothing else has changed in my diet or lifestyle.

I went digging through PubMed and found a few interesting studies about it. Most of the older ones pertain to cognitive preservation but a several newer ones lean towards cognitive enhancement. Here’s an interesting one. I wouldn’t be considered an “aged rat” I guess (depending who you ask), but it’s still fascinating

That is really interesting!

I studied language (not japanese but a hard one as well) for 8 hours a day of classes, plus 4 hours of homework a night, for 2 friggin years. I did a LOT of experimenting with things that could help with vocabulary retention and memory.

I couldn’t tell you about blueberries, but I did notice an improvement when I started taking full doses of Gingko Biloba twice a day. I also hit a point that I realized I was a total coffee junkie and that the coffee crashes were affecting my brain’s ability to aborb, let alone retain. Switching to tea made me feel a lot more alert and focused, after I went through coffee withdrawal. From what I recall reading, tea caffeine is absorbed much more slowly and does not lead to energy crashes the way coffee does.

Good luck with your test! :smiley:

[/quote]

Caffine is absorbed at the same rate. Tea is anti-fatigue and this is because of theobromin where coffee is a stimulant that acts on the energy merridian (adrenals/kidney) to slow the absorption of either of these add HEAVY whipping cream. Another point I would like to make is that espresso has LESS caffine than regular coffee. This is because the steaming process used is not sufficient to extract the caffine. People mistake the bitter taste for high caffine content and this is simply wrong. Charles Poliquin actually shared this fact with me (he did his thesis on caffine).

As for the Ginko it IS effective BUT…and this is a big BUT most of the ginko out there is BUNK!!! It is one of the two biggest variets in quality of any neutraceuticals, to see what a good ginko is like use the Poliquin brand. It is the best and you will NOTICE the difference between this and ANY other brand you put up against it!

[quote]laroyal wrote:

Caffine is absorbed at the same rate. Tea is anti-fatigue and this is because of theonine where coffee is a stimulant that acts on the energy merridian (adrenals/kidney) to slow the absorption of either of these add HEAVY whipping cream. Another point I would like to make is that espresso has LESS caffine than regular coffee. This is because the steaming process used is not sufficient to extract the caffine. People mistake the bitter taste for high caffine content and this is simply wrong. Charles Poliquin actually shared this fact with me (he did his thesis on caffine).

As for the Ginko it IS effective BUT…and this is a big BUT most of the ginko out there is BUNK!!! It is one of the two biggest variets in quality of any neutraceuticals, to see what a good ginko is like use the Poliquin brand. It is the best and you will NOTICE the difference between this and ANY other brand you put up against it! [/quote]

Well apparently you’ve been taking your gingko and drinking your tea! I learn so much from you. Thanks. :smiley:

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Another point I would like to make is that espresso has LESS caffine than regular coffee. This is because the steaming process used is not sufficient to extract the caffine.

[/quote]

why would this be less effective at extracting caffeine than any other method ?

i’ve read that espresso beans are typically roasted darker and this sublimates caffeine so the actual beans may have less but the brewing process uses a much finer grind of the bean and nearly twice as much is used to create the typical 1.5- 2 oz shot as would be used to brew 8oz of regular coffee. so technically yes, it is lower. but, in practical use, espresso is a more concentrated brew and the actual caffeine content per ml is around equal or a bit higher depending on the extraction.

even it it were lower wouldn’t the fact that it’s a shot that is consumed in one or two sips give you more of a buzz than a cup you drink over 10-15 minutes ? my own experience supports this…shots of espresso give me a fast, intense buzz, whereas a cup of coffee lasts longer but without the big rush.

The darker roast beans used for espresso do have less caffeine than regularly roasted beans as roasting is supposed to break up or sublimate the caffeine in the beans aditionally, the time the bean is steamed is often insufficient to extract the ingredient.

The following information is from Bowes and Church’s Food values of
portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott, Phila.
1989. Pages 261-2: Caffeine

Drip 115-175
Espresso 100mg of caffeine
1 serving (1.5-2oz)

         Brewed                  80-135
         Instant                 65-100
         Decaf, brewed           3-4
         Decaf, instant          2-3
         Tea, iced (12 ozs.)     70
         Tea, brewed, imported   60
         Tea, brewed, U.S.       40
         Tea, instant            30
         Mate                    25-150mg

Candy:

 Chocolate                               mg caffeine
   baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
   german sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)           8
   semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)            13

 Choc chips
   Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)                     13
   german sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)       15

 Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g)         15
 Chocolate milk  8oz                             8

 Desserts:
 Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g)                 2
 Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g)              6
 Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g)                 12

 Beverages
 3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix          8
 2 tablespoons choc syrup                        5
 1 envelope hot cocoa mix                        5

 Dietary formulas
 ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g)  10
 Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar

 More stuff:

 Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
 15 ml alcohol with
 5g Guarana Seeds        250.0 mg
 Guarana capsules with
 500 mg G. seeds          25.0 mg / capsule

 (assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)

 Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at
 tropical groceries here. It's really tasty and packs a wallop. Guarana
 wakes you up like crazy, but it doesn't cause coffee jitters.

 It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other
 substance in guarana that also produces an effect, since it 'feels'
 different than coffee. Same goes for mate.
  1. How much caffeine there is in blend X?

    Caffeine Content in beans and blends

    (Source: Newsletter–Mountanos Bros. Coffee Co., San Francisco)

    VARIETALS/STRAIGHTS
    Brazil Bourbons 1.20%
    Celebes Kalossi 1.22
    Colombia Excelso 1.37
    Colombia Supremo 1.37
    Costa Rica Tarrazu 1.35
    Ethiopian Harrar-Moka 1.13
    Guatemala Antigua 1.32
    Indian Mysore 1.37
    Jamaican Blue Mtn/Wallensford Estate 1.24
    Java Estate Kuyumas 1.20
    Kenya AA 1.36
    Kona Extra Prime 1.32
    Mexico Pluma Altura 1.17
    Mocha Mattari (Yemen) 1.01
    New Guinea 1.30
    Panama Organic 1.34
    Sumatra Mandheling-Lintong 1.30
    Tanzania Peaberry 1.42
    Zimbabwe 1.10

    BLENDS & DARK ROASTS
    Colombia Supremo Dark 1.37%
    Espresso Roast 1.32
    French Roast 1.22
    Vienna Roast 1.27
    Mocha-Java 1.17

Wha?
I forget…

Wow Laroyal…hell of a post! I enjoyed reading that.

Has anyone had any success with green tea as a “wake-up drink” (for lack of a better term)? I’ve had 2 cups of coffee to start my day for as long as I can remember…depending on the blend though it has begun to leave me feeling a bit jittery.

I didn’t know that Green Tea contained so much theobromine. Glad I didn’t give any to my dog! :wink:

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
Wow Laroyal…hell of a post! I enjoyed reading that.

Has anyone had any success with green tea as a “wake-up drink” (for lack of a better term)? I’ve had 2 cups of coffee to start my day for as long as I can remember…depending on the blend though it has begun to leave me feeling a bit jittery.

I didn’t know that Green Tea contained so much theobromine. Glad I didn’t give any to my dog! ;-)[/quote]

You would have more success if you were to “kickstart” your day with coffee with HEAVY cream in it and drink the green tea throughout the day to ward off fatigue. Charles Poliquin’s Yang-r-ala helps you to regenerate your ability to feel the effect of coffee if you have become tolerant. I would take 4 on an empty stomach first thing AM and 4 more with lunch.

[quote]laroyal wrote:

You would have more success if you were to “kickstart” your day with coffee with HEAVY cream in it and drink the green tea throughout the day to ward off fatigue. Charles Poliquin’s Yang-r-ala helps you to regenerate your ability to feel the effect of coffee if you have become tolerant. I would take 4 on an empty stomach first thing AM and 4 more with lunch. [/quote]

i agree having drunk lots of both…coffee is the best kick start and green tea keeps you up there alot longer…it’s a cleaner buzz too and less side-effects.

interesting what you write about yang r-ala… i love coffee but it’s always been a jekyll and hyde response. at it’s best i feel like i can do no wrong, but past a certain point, like if rely on it every day for a couple of weeks, the good stimulus is gone and i’m just left with extra aggression. does yang r-ala mitigate this ?

Red cabbage should provide the same benefits, and it’s probably cheaper.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

AS FAR AS FOCUS AND MEMORY AS CONCERNED, VINPOCENTINE HAS A IMPORTANT ROLE FOR ENHANCING THIS QUALITIES, AS WELL AS HEALTH BRAIN.

A GOOD DOSIS IT’D BE: 10 MG TWICE A DAY.

Taken from 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth:

“Old neurons are kind of like old married couples,” Joseph says. “They don’t talk to each other so much anymore.” Memory goes down and the “Processing” necessary for coordination and balance will tend to decline. The technical term for this communication is “signaling,” and special compounds in blueberries called polyphenols actually “turn on” the signals. “Not only can you get one neuron to talk to another more efficiently, but you can actually enable the brain to grow new neurons…”

It also talks about a study in Animals that showed Blueberries slows impairments in coordination and memory.

Pretty interesting stuff.

In other words Blueberries are the ultimate brain food. Not to mention they are packed full of other good stuff.

I eat around two cups a day usually mixing them in with oatmeal in the morning, then for an after dinner snack with almonds, raisins and low-fat yogurt.