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Grapes protect the human brain from the effects of Alzheimer's
Many people around the world suffer from the effects of Alzheimer's and medical professionals have long been looking for ways to combat the disease. Researchers have now found that daily grape consumption protects the brain from rapid Alzheimer's breakdown.
Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles found that eating grapes can protect people from the effects of Alzheimer's. The American experts published the results of their study in the journal. "Experimental Gerontology".
Regular consumption of grapes has a protective effect
A pilot study found that consuming grapes can protect people from an early memory decline. Alzheimer's disease is a brain disease that leads to a slow decline in memory and cognitive abilities, the experts explain. The current study examined the effects of grapes on isolated compounds. Regular consumption of grapes is therefore associated with a protective effect against the effects of Alzheimer's disease, explains author Daniel Silverman from the University of California.
Neurological and cardiovascular health benefits from grape consumption
Grapes bring benefits for neurological and cardiovascular health, the researchers explain. Nevertheless, further clinical studies with larger groups of volunteers are required to examine the effects closely. A grape-enriched diet, however, appeared to protect against a decline in metabolic activity. Low metabolic activity in certain areas of the brain is a typical sign of early stages of Alzheimer's disease, doctors say. A grape-enriched diet also increases metabolic activity in other areas of the brain. This type of diet leads to individual improvements in attention and memory performance compared to non-grape-eating people, the researchers add.
Structure of the study
In the study, participants with early memory loss were randomly divided into two different groups. Either they received a grape powder, which corresponded to the amount of two cups of grapes a day, or a polyphenol-free placebo powder, which was adjusted in taste and appearance to grapes. The cognitive performance was measured at the beginning of the study and six months later, the doctors explain. Changes in brain metabolism were assessed using so-called brain scans. These were also done at the start of the study and six months later.
Grape consumption helps people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease
The measured results showed that consumed grapes can maintain healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain. This mainly helps people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease. During this time, a so-called metabolic decline takes place, the experts explain. When the participants did not eat grapes, they showed a significant metabolic decrease in these very regions.
What do polyphenols do?
So-called polyphenols help the body to promote oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. Previous research had already indicated that grapes can help support brain health. This happens in a variety of ways, such as a reduction in oxidative stress in the brain, say the scientists. In addition, the healthy blood flow in the brain is promoted, which allows sufficient anti-inflammatory connections in the brain to be maintained. (as)