Blueberries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress that starts as a result of injury or severe psychological shock. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thought or mood and changes in emotional reaction.

Unfortunately, the intensity of PTSD symptoms often varies over time, and medical treatments offer limited relief. However, new studies show that eating blueberries could possibly help to relieve some of these symptoms.

In a series of studies conducted in rats, researchers have found eating blueberries could help reduce the genetic and biochemical drivers behind depression and suicidal tendencies associated with PTSD, according to an article in Science Daily.

PTSD affects approximately 6.8 percent of Americans at some point in their lifetime, with the disorder particularly common among combat veterans. The disorder is associated with issues such as depression, substance abuse and increased risk of suicide.

According to the Science Daily report, researchers developed a process that produces effects similar to PTSD in rats, and assessed how eating a diet rich in blueberries affected those factors.  The team focused on the role of a gene that other researchers have found in abnormally low levels in people who have committed suicide, called SKA2. The researchers found that the rats with PTSD-like effects expressed this gene at lower levels when compared to normal lab rats, supporting the role of SKA2 in psychological problems.

The researchers fed the PTSD rats a diet rich in blueberries and found the SKA2 levels increased compared with rats fed a normal diet. This suggests blueberries could have an effect on the SKA2 gene’s prevalence and could even cause an increase levels. Based on a study from last year through which the research team found blueberries increased the levels of serotonin – associated with happiness in the brain – the researchers plan to look for further links between SKA2 and serotonin levels.

Though they have yet to conduct a clinical trial on people, eating blueberries certainly offers many other tangible health benefits besides this new potential to offer help for people dealing with PTSD. Blueberries also help ward off heart disease due to their fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and lack of cholesterol. Contact Delta Blue Blueberries today and order some fresh, organic blueberry plants for your property.

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