Effects of a single dose of a flavonoid-rich blueberry drink on memory in 8 to 10 y old children

Nutrition. 2015 Mar;31(3):531-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.09.013. Epub 2014 Oct 18.


Objective: Recent evidence from animals and adult humans has demonstrated potential benefits to cognition from flavonoid supplementation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these cognitive benefits extended to a sample of school-aged children.

Method: Using a crossover design, with a washout of at least 7 d between drinks, 14 children ages 8 to 10 y consumed either a flavonoid-rich blueberry drink or a matched vehicle. Two h after consumption, the children completed a battery of five cognitive tests comprising the Go-NoGo, Stroop, Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Task, Object Location Task, and a Visual N-back.

Results: In comparison to the vehicle, the blueberry drink produced significant improvements in the delayed recall of a previously learned list of words, showing for the first time a cognitive benefit for acute flavonoid intervention in children. However, performance on a measure of proactive interference indicated that the blueberry intervention led to a greater negative impact of previously memorized words on the encoding of a set of new words. There was no benefit of our blueberry intervention for measures of attention, response inhibition, or visuospatial memory.

Conclusions: Although findings are mixed, the improvements in delayed recall found in this pilot study suggest that, following acute flavonoid-rich blueberry interventions, school-aged children encode memory items more effectively.

Keywords: Anthocyanin; Attention; Blueberry; Children; Cognitive; Flavonoid; Memory.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry*
  • Child
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
  • Humans
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Mental Recall / drug effects
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*


  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Preparations