A new study has shed more light on the potential health benefits of cranberries, specifically how they might help fight cognitive decline because of a particular group of plant compounds they contain known as flavanoids.
In previous studies, flavanoids, which are found in vegetables, fruit, red wine, tea, and coffee, have been associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and lower dementia risk.
Cranberries are actually rich in two types of flavonoids: anthocyanin and proanthocyanidins. Dr. David Vauzour, senior research fellow in molecular nutrition at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, wanted to investigate how cranberries impact the brain.
To address the knowledge gap, Dr. Vauzour led a new study, the results of which are published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
Interestingly, the stufy revealed a link between consuming the equivalent of a cup of cranberries a day and improved memory function.
For the study, 60 pre-screened participants were separated into two groups and asked to undergo pre-intervention baseline tests to assess their cognitive levels. Participants were then asked to either
take a sachet of freeze-dried cranberry powder or a placebo for a period of 12 weeks.
Follow-up testing revealed that the group taking the cranberry powder not only demonstrated significant improvements in visual episodic memory performance, but also had increased flow in three areas of their brains.
Dr. Vauzour says he would now like to see this study replicated with a larger sample size.
*Image by Kristine Lejniece from Pixabay