Study under review: Concord grape juice, cognitive function, and driving performance: a 12 wk, placebocontrolled, randomized crossover trial in mothers of preteen children
Many of the health benefits of plants are attributed to their phytochemicals, a group of non-essential bioactive compounds generally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
More recently, a 2012 systematic review found that a diet rich in polyphenols, a subclass of phytochemicals which includes anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols, flavanones, and a few other flavonoids, is associated with improved cognitive function and reduced neurodegeneration in old age. This topic is discussed in Study Deep Dives #15, Volume 2, in which we analyzed a study that found improved cognitive performance in elderly adults with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease after daily consumption of sweet cherry juice for 12 weeks.
Unfortunately, the mechanisms through which polyphenols may improve cognitive function are still poorly understood. Nonetheless, various mechanisms have been proposed, including a reduction in neuroinflammation, increased synaptic plasticity, protecting neurons against injury from toxins, and improving cerebral blood flow.
Previous research reported that daily consumption of polyphenol-rich concord grape juice (CGJ) for 12 and 16 weeks were associated with improvements in verbal learning and memory in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Taking these findings a step further, the authors of the current study explored whether consumption of CGJ could result in similar cognitive benefits in a population with impaired cognition as a result of chronic stress.
Recent research has shown that consumption of polyphenols from plant-based foods may be able to improve cognitive function. Concord grape juice (CGJ), specifically, has been shown to improve verbal learning and memory in elderly adults with mild cognitive impairment. The current study sought to extend past findings by analyzing the effect of CGJ consumption for 12 weeks on the cognitive performance of middle-aged adults with stressful lifestyles.
Other Articles in Issue #18 (April 2016)
HDL: When good cholesterol breaks bad
LDL is commonly referred to as “bad”, whereas HDL is “good”. Like many other labels, these are oversimplified, especially as HDL-raising drugs have failed. This study explores why that might be.
Interview: Aaron Blaisdell, PhD
Dr. Blaisdell heads up a cognition research lab at UCLA, and is a central figure in the movement to research links between ancestral health and modern health.
High-carb, high satiety?
A common refrain is that carbs make you gain weight, and are too easy to overconsume. Luckily, this line of thinking can be tested in a randomized trial
Does omega status depend on your genes?
Genetic data could end up rewriting some aspects of nutrition literature. This study looked at people from different locales around the world, to see if they metabolize certain fats differently depending on their genes
Peanuts redux: following up on infant peanut exposure
We previously covered a major trial that suggested peanut avoidance was a bad idea for infants at risk of allergy. The researchers continued with those study subjects up to age 6, to see if the results still apply
Does this gluten make me look fat?
Links between gluten and weight gain haven’t been seen so much in observational evidence, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. This animal study is one of the first to look at a potential mechanism
Interview: Paul Jaminet, PhD
Dr. Jaminet is the CEO of a promising biotech targeting solid tumors. Here, he explains the science and business behind an innovative potential therapy that targets cancer from a new angle
Add fuel to the fire … or take it away?
Competitive endurance athletes manipulate their carb intake in various ways, and those aren’t always based on evidence. A new carb-cycling strategy may help to shave off precious seconds.
ALA: Alliterative (anti)Longevity Aid?
ALA is used for a variety of purposes, such as for blood sugar control and potential longevity benefits. But this new evidence plants a seed of warning for those taking ALA over long periods of time.