London [UK]May 21 (ANI): According to a new study by the University of East Anglia (UK), adding cranberries to your diet can help improve memory and lower bad cholesterol.
A new study highlighted the neuroprotective potential of cranberries.
The research team studied the benefits of consuming an equivalent cup of cranberries a day among people aged 50 to 80 years.
They hope their findings may be relevant to the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
Lead researcher Dr David Vazur of UEA Medical School in Norwich said: “Dementia is expected to affect about 152 million people by 2050. There is no known treatment, so it is important that we look for a changeable lifestyle such as diet that could help reduce disease risk and severity.
“Past research has shown that higher flavonoid intake with food is associated with a slower rate of decline in cognitive ability and dementia. It has been found that foods rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which give berries a red, blue or purple color, improve late blight.
“Cranberries are rich in these micronutrients and have been recognized for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
“We wanted to learn more about how cranberries can help reduce age-related neurodegeneration.” The research team investigated the effect of eating cranberries for 12 weeks on brain function and cholesterol levels among 60 cognitively healthy participants.
Half of the participants consumed dried cranberry powder daily, equivalent to a glass or 100 g of fresh cranberries. The other half consumed a placebo.
The study is one of the first to investigate cranberries and their long-term impact on cognition and brain health in humans.
The results showed that cranberry consumption significantly improved participants ’memory of daily events (visual episodic memory), nervous system functioning, and blood delivery to the brain (brain perfusion).
Dr Vazur said: “We found that participants who consumed cranberry powder demonstrated significantly improved episodic memory performance combined with improved circulation of essential nutrients such as oxygen and glucose to important parts of the brain that support cognition – particularly , consolidation and memory retrieval. .
The cranberry group has also shown significant reductions in LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which are known to contribute to atherosclerosis – thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by plaque buildup on the inner lining of the artery. This supports the idea that cranberries can help partially contribute to improved brain perfusion and cognition.
“Demonstrating to people that cranberry supplements can improve cognitive ability, and identifying some of the mechanisms responsible for this, is an important step in this area of research.
“The results of this study are very encouraging, especially considering that a relatively short 12-week intervention with cranberries was able to significantly improve memory and nervous function,” he added.
“This provides an important basis for future research in cranberries and neurological health.” The study was supported by a grant from The Cranberry Institute. It was headed by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with researchers from the Medical Center of Leiden University (Netherlands), the University of Parma (Italy) and the Quadra Institute (UK). (ANI)