June 21, 2012
CINCINNATIDrinking a glass of polyphenol-rich Concord grape juice may help boost neurocognitive function in older adults with mild memory decline, according to a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Polyphenol compounds found in berry fruits, in particular flavonoids, have been associated with health benefits including improvement in cognition and neuronal function with aging. Concord grape juice contains polyphenols, including anthocyanins and flavanols, and previous research has shown improvement in a number of human health conditions with grape juice supplementation.
For the study, researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center enrolled older adult subjects (average age 77) with mild cognitive impairment in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants consumed Concord grape juice or placebo daily for 16 weeks and were administered assessments of memory function and brain activation pre- and post-intervention.
Participants who consumed grape juice showed reduced semantic interference on memory tasks. Relatively greater activation in anterior and posterior regions of the right hemisphere was also observed with functional magnetic resonance imaging in the grape juice treated subjects. These findings provide further evidence that Concord grape juice can enhance neurocognitive function in older adults with mild memory decline.
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