Grapes could protect against Alzheimers disease claims study

Tue, 07 Feb 2017

Adding two daily handfuls of grapes into your diet could help prevent Alzheimers disease, according to new research.

Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia, and the condition gets progressively worse over time. However, a group of scientists from the University of California believe that their research has demonstrated that grapes can protect against decline in some Alzheimer-related areas of the brain.

The researchers took ten adults who suffered from early memory decline. They were randomly selected and the average age was 72 years, and each participant was given either whole grape powder (equivalent to 72 grams) each day, or a placebo powder.

Cognitive performances were analysed at the start of the study (before the participants had started taking the powder), and again at six months. A significant change was discovered to have occurred within those six months for the participants eating grapes twice a day, analysis of brain PET scans revealed.

Eating grapes was found to preserve healthy metabolic activity in the regions of the brain affected by the first stages of Alzheimer's disease. Those taking the placebo experienced a significant metabolic decline in critical regions of the brain.

"The study examines the impact of grapes as a whole fruit versus isolated compounds and the results suggest that regular intake of grapes may provide a protective effect against early decline associated with Alzheimer's disease," said Dr Daniel Silverman, lead author of the study.

"This pilot study contributes to the growing evidence that supports a beneficial role for grapes in neurologic and cardiovascular health; however more clinical studies with larger groups of subjects are needed to confirm the effects observed here."

The research was published in the journal Experimental Gerontology.
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