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Two Ways to Improve Memory: Eat Berries, Turn Off the Tube

Based on the article “Two Ways to Improve Your Memory: Eat Berries and Turn Off the TV”, on

Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert

Here is some advice to improve the old brain cells – and maybe even young brain cells. When it comes to nuances of the noggin, the two studies discussed below yielded results that seem to apply to young folks and seniors alike. –D.R.

One route to more accurate recall appears to be dietary. According to the website, researchers at Tufts University separated 60 young male rats into three groups. One ate an ordinary diet without berries, the second an ordinary diet with strawberry extract, and the third an ordinary diet with blueberry extract. After two months, half the rats were irradiated to speed up aging, while the other half were not; then the rats were tested in a Maze and for levels of dopamine (low dopamine typically indicates poor memory, attention and other mental skills). The result: rats that were irradiated, and on a non-berry diet, performed worst among the three groups in the maze test and had the lowest dopamine levels. However, the positive news is that rats that were irradiated, but on a diet with berry extract, performed as well as rats that did not undergo radiation. While rats are certainly not humans, it seems wise for those people who know they don’t get enough fruit to heed the lessons learned here, and berry their pitiful diets (but avoid the pits).

Not very merry about berries, but still want to enhance your memory? Try turning off the TV. Scientific American discussed an online survey of almost 30,000 people who were asked about a range of behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, television viewing and reading habits. Sciam reported that those who drank less than two alcoholic drinks a day performed better at all memory tasks, and people who did crosswords were better at remembering shopping lists and recalling names, while eating fish once a week improved the ability to remember shopping lists. But it was television viewing that had the main impact on results.

Finally, for fun and learning combined, you can take a National Memory Test here.


The information provided here is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.

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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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