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Berries: not just delicious but healthy too

Blackcurrants (c) James Hutton Institute
"Evidence for consuming these soft fruits is excellent; not only do they taste fantastic but they do a bang up job of keeping our health on track

Following on from TV series "How to Stay Young”, whose first episode was broadcast last night on BBC One, scientists at the James Hutton Institute are pleased to see that the message is getting through about the many health benefits of consuming deeply coloured soft fruit such as blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries.

The James Hutton Institute has been active in this research area for many years. With funding from the Scottish Government, InnovateUK, the EU and industry, it has built up a substantial body of work that has identified these soft fruits as being beneficial to human health.

Professor Derek Stewart, research leader at the James Hutton Institute, said:

“Specifically, studies on anthocyanin-rich blackcurrants (the components responsible for their deep colours) using model systems for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in mice identified that the intake of blackcurrant modulated the processing of the protein that generated the classic AD symptoms. This resulted in an alleviation of the behavioural abnormalities seen in AD, such as a reduction in meandering, and improvements in correct choices and spatial learning.  Indeed, this neuroprotective effect has been corroborated by other collaborative studies we have undertaken with Portuguese scientists, in related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

“Our other studies, in collaboration with groups such as the University of Ulster, have given a clear message that these soft fruits, with their high natural levels of anthocyanins, impact beneficially toward maintaining good gut health and potentially reducing the risk of gut - particularly colon - cancers.

“All in all, the evidence for consuming these soft fruits is excellent. Not only do they taste fantastic but they do a bang-up job of keeping our health on track. The James Hutton Institute is in an enviable position of having this research delivered alongside its soft fruit breeding activities meaning we can, and are, aiming to generate enhanced varieties in the future.”

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Printed from /news/berries-not-just-delicious-healthy-too on 07/12/23 03:47:17 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.