Blueberries May Alleviate Symptoms Of PTSD


By Cooking Panda

According to research, eating blueberries may lessen the distress caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Conducted at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, investigators aimed to analyze the affect of blueberries on PTDS by inducing a form of the disorder in rats, according to News Wise. By concentrating on a gene called SKA2, which is generally expressed at extremely low levels in people who have committed suicide, researchers determined that the PTSD animals had a low level of this gene compared to the control rats.

Ultimately, the study suggests that eating two cups of blueberries a day, which would have been the human equivalent of the amount the rats received, may prove beneficial for people who suffer from PTSD.

“Since these levels increased when we fed them blueberries, the findings suggest that a nonpharmacological agent like blueberries can have an effect on the expression of this important gene,” said Joseph Francis, Ph.D., Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and the study’s senior author.

Researchers now want to examine the links between the SKA2 gene and serotonin levels to see if blueberries may lessen depressive and suicidal tendencies through a specific biological pathway.

“There is an urgent need to identify novel targets for treating PTSD,” Francis explained. “Based on our findings, blueberries can not only increase serotonin, but also increase SKA2 levels, thereby potentially protecting against untoward behavior.”

Francis stated that various medications used to treat depression, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have had limited success in patients with PTSD, and his team of investigators aims to close the gap for those with PTSD who had not been successful with conventional medication.

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“And in the meantime, it seems safe to say that eating blueberries can’t hurt—and may help—in people with PTSD,” Francis said.

Source: News Wise / Photo Credit: Rediscover Tasmania

Tags: blueberries, PTSD, research
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