Can Eating Grapes Improve Your Memory?
Sunday, February 5, 2017 64 Comments
Pilot study highlights role of grapes
in preventing Alzheimer’s disease
Implications for Memory & Attentional Struggles in Alphabet City
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited Reblog from the ClinicalNews blog
Ralph Turchiano on February 3, 2017
Brand New Study suggests Good News!
Grape-enriched diet prevents metabolic brain decline,
improves attention and memory
Public Release: 3-Feb-2017: California Table Grape Commission FRESNO, CA
Consuming grapes twice a day for six months protected against significant metabolic decline in Alzheimer-related areas of the brain in a study of people with early memory decline.
Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Study results showed a grape-enriched diet protected against the decline of metabolic activity.
Alzheimer’s disease. as most people know, is a brain disease that results in a slow decline of memory and cognitive skills. Although it’s cause is not yet fully understood, it is believed result from a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.
Currently 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — and the numbers continue to grow.
Study implications for EFD
Scientists noted that the group that was given the grape-enriched diet also exhibited increased metabolism in other areas of the brain that correlated with individual improvements in attention and working memory performance, compared to those on the non-grape diet.
That’s encouraging news for those of us with Executive Functioning Disorders.
EFD, remember, is the term used to describe problems with cognitive abilities that most adults take for granted as products of intelligence, education and maturity — items like planning, problem solving, concentration, mental flexibility, and controlling short-term behavior to achieve long-term goals.
Newly published information
Results of the randomized controlled research study, conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, were recently published in Experimental Gerontology. 
“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 H. Silverman, lead investigator 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.”
 Lee, J., Torosyan, N., and Silverman, D.H. (2017). Examining the impact of grape consumption on brain metabolism and cognitive function in patients with mild decline in cognition: A double-blinded placebo controlled pilot study. Experimental Gerontology, 87 (Pt A):121-128. Doi:10.1016/j.exger.2016.10.004.
About the Study
Subjects with early memory decline were randomly selected to receive either whole grape powder* – equivalent to just 2 ¼ cups of grapes per day – or a polyphenol-free placebo powder matched for flavor and appearance.
- Cognitive performance was measured at baseline and 6 months later.
- Changes in brain metabolism, assessed by brain PET scans, were also measured at baseline and 6 months later.
PET scans provide valuable predictive and diagnostic value to clinicians evaluating patients with dementia symptoms.
*UPDATE from my response to a comment below: The powder doesn’t seem to be available commercially — the reason for its use in the study was to standardize dosage – otherwise the results would not be reliable and would never have been able to be replicated.
And what did they find out?
The results showed that consuming grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in the regions of the brain that are affected by the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease, where metabolic decline takes hold.
Subjects who didn’t consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions.
In addition, they noted that the group that was given the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in working memory performance and cognition.
Grape polyphenols help promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
Research suggests that grapes may help support brain health by working in multiple ways:
- reducing oxidative stress in the brain
- promoting healthy blood flow in the brain
- helping maintain levels of a key brain chemical that promotes memory
- exerting anti-inflammatory effects .
 Maher, P. (2016). Grapes and the brain. In J.M. Pezzuto (Ed.), Grapes and health (pp. 139-161). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28995-3.
More Good News about Grapes
Grapes have been given “super food” status for good reason!
They are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate, as well as essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.
High in water content, grapes are good for hydration. Not only that, high water-content fruits and vegetables are what they call “nutrient dense,” meaning that they provide a large amount of essential nutrients in only a few calories.
Grapes are high in antioxidants important for eye health, too such as lutein and zeaxanthin. The skins of RED grapes contain the phytochemical resveratrol, the same antioxidant found in red wine, long noted to seem to offer protection from more than a few chronic diseases and conditions.
Antioxidants known as polyphenols may also prevent or slow the progression of many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon, according to several sources.
Grapes also make use of the power of the flavonoids myricetin and quercetin, helping our bodies counter-act harmful free radical formation – which slows down aging.
What health issues might grapes help improve?
Although more research is needed before any of these health benefits can be said to be conclusive, grapes have been associated with reducing the risk of the following conditions:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Bone Health
- Heart diseases
- Diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy
- even Acne, especially when combined with Acne medication
More detail about each of the above can be found HERE.
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