The secret to healthy brain aging might be as simple as drinking a glass of juice. A new study out of the University of Delaware advises that tart cherry juice could possess qualities that can improve cognitive function in older adults. Specifically, this study has identified montmorency tart cherry juice, which has been quite commonly used as a treatment for gout as well as an exercise recovery aid and even to help people sleep.
This most recent study, then argues that this already popular naturopathic remedy could aid in preserving brain function, particularly among the elderly.
Lead study author Sheau Ching Chai comments, “Cognitive function is a key determinant of independence and quality of life among older adults. The potential beneficial effects of tart cherries may be related to the bioactive compounds they possess, which include polyphenols, anthocyanins, and melanin.”
An assistant professor at the University, Chai goes on to say, “They may also be related to tart cherry’s potential blood-pressure lowering effects, outlined in a previous study we conducted in the same population, as blood pressure can influence blood flow to the brain.”
The study involved a randomized control trial with researchers assigning 34 participants to consume either 16 ounces (480 mL) of montmorency tart cherry juice, or a placebo drink, per day, for 12 weeks. It should be noted that the instructions were to consume half of the drink in the morning and half in the evening.
It is also important to note that these participants were generally in good health when the study began. Also, none of the participants were taking medication with the potential to affect brain function. In addition, each participant was instructed to maintain a healthy diet and follow regular physical activity levels for, at least, the duration of the study.
Throughout the 12 weeks, researchers analyzed the cognitive function of each participant. After the three-month period, the researchers found that those who had consumed the tart cherry juice definitely demonstrated higher scores in both cognitive function and subjective memory. Also, the tart cherry juice drinkers had a five percent increase in satisfaction with their personal ability to recall, as well as a nearly equivalent reduction in movement time, and a 23 percent reduction in errors made in visual memory tasks.