Not long ago, I reported to you on the amazing effect that pomegranate extract had on mice that were genetically bred to develop Alzheimer's disease. The mice taking the extract not only did not get worse as they got older, they actually showed improved memory and behavior. Now, another study on humans is showing the same thing.
The researchers looked at 28 older men and women who were all complaining of "Old-timer's disease." Old-timers is when you have aggravating declines in your cognitive function but completely normal cognitive function tests. I hear complaints about Old-timer's all the time. It's when you can't remember the name of that book, movie, or person until 5-10 minutes has passed.
You can also see the signs of Old-timers when you find yourself going someplace and unable to remember why you are going there. Or how about when you can't remember where you put something even though it was just the other day.
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The researchers gave half of the men and women eight ounces of pomegranate juice every day. They gave the other half a placebo juice. Before the study started, everyone received a battery of cognitive tests and memory tests. But they also had functional MRI testing (fMRI). fMRI testing is able to show actual changes in the brain in the areas where memory functions. It's a very objective test.
Here are the remarkable results.
After only four weeks, the pomegranate people were showing statistical improvement in all of the test scores. In fact, in several of the scores, the improvements were almost 100% better than in the placebo group.
But the most incredible thing to me was that compared to the placebo group, the pomegranate group had increased fMRI activity during verbal and visual memory tasks. That means that there were actual improvements in brain function that could be seen on an MRI image. Amazing! The authors stated, "Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that drinking pomegranate juice may increase task-related brain activation and improve memory ability in older adults with preexisting mild memory complaints."
You can buy the same pomegranate juice that was used in the study at Wal-Mart. It's called Pom Wonderful.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Bookheimer SY, Renner BA, Ekstrom A, et al. Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:946298.
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