A new research study has found the supplementation of Cranberry may boost memory and keep dementia at bay while also reducing bad cholesterol.
60 individuals between the ages of 50 and 80 years participated in this parallel randomized placebo-controlled trial. The study lasted 12 weeks. Half the participants were given freeze-dried Cranberry (equivalent to 100 grams of fresh Cranberry) daily. The other half of the participants were given a placebo. Cognitive assessment testing which included executive and memory function testing as well as neuroimaging and blood sample collection were given both before and after the study period.
Researchers found the group supplementing with the Cranberry for 12 weeks experienced improvements in their memory in terms of visual episodic memory events (memory of everyday events), neural functioning and delivery of blood to the brain (brain perfusion). Significant reductions in LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol during the study period were also seen.
Researchers concluded that this study reinforced prior studies showing Cranberry could improve vascular health and perhaps contribute to improvements in brain perfusion as well as cognition. They also noted that Cranberries contain other health promoting compounds like fiber and other nutrients that provide additional antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
Larger studies are planned.
Cranberries provide a far-reaching source of phyto nutrients, namely polyphenols and proanthocyanidins. These phytonutrients have been shown in many studies to be able to fight off infections, in particular urinary tract infections. The Cranberry extract, according to studies helps to prevent bacteria (E.Coli) from adhering to uroepithelial cells within the urinary tract. Other polyphenols and tannins found in the Cranberry extract have been shown to have antioxidant potential also.
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