Can grape juice help bring back your memory?

Drinking purple grape juice can reduce or even reverse memory loss, scientists claim. In a study, those who drank a pure variety for 12 weeks saw their performance improve in a series of mental tests. Experts believe antioxidants in the skin and juice of the fruit are behind the results. Scientists from the psychiatry department at the University of Cincinnati carried out a study involving 12 people with early memory loss. They were split into two groups, with one drinking pure 100 per cent Concord juice from grapes grown in the Concord region of Massachusetts, and the other a placebo. Both groups were given regular memory tests over three months. These involved them being asked to learn lists and remember items placed in a certain order. The researchers found the results of those who drank the grape juice showed an improvement the longer the trial went on. Dr Robert Krikorian, who carried out the study, presented the findings at the International Polyphenols and Health Conference in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, yesterday.

‘Following the treatment, those drinking Concord grape juice demonstrated a significant improvement in list learning,’ he said. ‘And trends suggested improved short-term memory retention and spatial, non-verbal memory. The results involving Concord grape juice are very encouraging and certainly warrant an additional study. ‘A simple, easy-to-incorporate dietary intervention that could improve or protect memory function, such as drinking Concord grape juice, may be beneficial for the ageing population.’ The study adds weight to the theory that antioxidant-rich foods and drinks may help preserve brain function and slow or reverse memory decline.  Dr Krikorian’s trial involved a dozen adults aged 75-80 suffering from early memory loss. During the 12 weeks in which each participant in the trial drank 100 per cent Concord grape juice or a placebo, they were assessed for memory function including verbal and non-verbal tasks.  In 2006 research in the U.S. found that drinking fruit and vegetable juices frequently could significantly cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The large-scale study at Vanderbilt University followed almost 2,000 people for up to ten years. Scientists found that the risk was 76 per cent lower for those who drank juice more than three times a week, compared with those who drank it less than once a week.  news from

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