Blueberry consumption may be effective for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), states study. Ebenezer et al. have previously demonstrated that SSRIs increase levels of serotonin (5-HT) and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) and that the increased NE might reduce the effectiveness of SSRI therapy.
Researchers at Louisiana State University supplemented some of the rats with a blueberry-enriched (2 percent) diet and others with a control diet. A third control group did not have PTSD and received a standard diet (without blueberries).
They found that PTSD rats who did not receive blueberries demonstrated a predictable increase in NE and 5-HT when compared with the control group. However, the PTSD rats that received blueberries showed a beneficial increase in 5-HT with no effect on NE levels, suggesting that blueberries could effectively modulate neurotransmitters in PTSD.
These findings indicated that non-pharmacological approaches might modulate neurotransmitters in PTSD. Further studies to understand the molecular mechanism of neuro-protection by BB could provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of PTSD.