Blueberries have been hailed as wonderful source of antioxidants with powerful benefits for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Recently, another benefit is being added to its list of benefits; blueberries may help treat PTSD.
Researchers from Louisiana State University have announced that blueberries may present a possible treatment option for those suffering from PTSD. Up until now, the only effective therapy for PTSD is in SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil or Zoloft. However, many people don’t feel the effectiveness is enough to combat their symptoms or just don’t like idea of having to take a pill. This has led scientists to seek out alternative forms of therapy for those suffering.
The team of researchers was led by Philip Ebenezer performed a study using laboratory rats in three separate control groups to analyze the serotonin levels related to a diet enriched with blueberries. What they found was the PTSD subjects that were fed the blueberries had increased levels of serotonin and no increase in a key neurotransmitter called (NE) or norepinephrine. Norepinephrine has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of serotonin in therapy. The problem up until now was to find a solution that would release serotonin without the NE countering the benefits the serotonin proviedes. The research concluded that the results suggest that eating “blueberries can effectively modulate neurotransmitters in PTSD”(American Physiological Society).
PTSD, post traumatic stress syndrome, is a condition generally associated with individuals who have served in the military or who have experienced extreme situations of stress, threat of violence, threat of death or witnessed first hand the death of a loved one. The symptoms associated with PTSD are emotional health issues like being emotionally detached with loved ones, flashbacks of traumatic events previously experienced, and stints of deep depression and outbursts of rage.
Research by Louisiana State University. Read more about it at the American Physiological Society Website.