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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEUROCOGNITION/NEUROSCIENCE

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Title: Concord Grape Juice Supplementation Improves Memory Function In Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Authors
item Krikorian, Robert -
item Nash, Tiffany -
item Shidler, Marcelle -
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Joseph, James

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2009
Publication Date: December 23, 2009
Citation: Krikorian, R., Nash, T.A., Shidler, M.D., Shukitt Hale, B., Joseph, J.A. 2009. Concord Grape Juice Supplementation Improves Memory Function In Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. British Journal of Nutrition. 103:730-734.

Interpretive Summary: Concord grape juice contains compounds which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and influence signaling in the brain. Concord grape juice supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and other vascular concerns in individuals with cardiovascular disease, and consumption of foods with these antioxidant compounds is associated with reduced risk for dementia. In addition, preliminary animal data have indicated improvement in memory and motor function, suggesting potential for cognitive benefit in aging humans. In this initial investigation of cognitive effects, we enrolled 12 older adults with memory decline but not dementia in a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind trial with Concord grape juice supplementation for 12 weeks. We observed significant improvement in a measure of verbal learning and insignificant enhancement of verbal and spatial recall. There was no appreciable effect of the intervention on depressive symptoms and no effect on weight or waist circumference. A small increase in a hormone associated with fasting was observed for those consuming grape juice. These preliminary findings suggest that supplementation with Concord grape juice may enhance cognitive function for older adults with early memory decline and establish a basis for more comprehensive investigations to evaluate potential benefit and assess mechanisms of action.

Technical Abstract: Concord grape juice contains flavonoid polyphenol compounds, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and influence neuronal signaling. Concord grape juice supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and vascular pathology in individuals with cardiovascular disease, and consumption of flavonoid-containing foods is associated with reduced risk for dementia. In addition, preliminary animal data have indicated improvement in memory and motor function, suggesting potential for cognitive benefit in aging humans. In this initial investigation of neurocognitive effects, we enrolled 12 older adults with memory decline but not dementia in a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind trial with Concord grape juice supplementation for 12 weeks. We observed significant improvement in a measure of verbal learning and insignificant enhancement of verbal and spatial recall. There was no appreciable effect of the intervention on depressive symptoms and no effect on weight or waist circumference. A small increase in fasting insulin was observed for those consuming grape juice. These preliminary findings suggest that supplementation with Concord grape juice may enhance cognitive function for older adults with early memory decline and establish a basis for more comprehensive investigations to evaluate potential benefit and assess mechanisms of action.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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